trail tree
Dennnis Downes
"Dog Ponies"
Dennis M. Downes
"Legends of the Great Lakes and Beyond"

Dennis M. Downes Legends of the Great Lakes and Beyond
Artist with 8’ Bronze “Cap Streeter”
Commissioned by Golub & Company
dennis downes
"Women Thunderbird"

The main body of Dennis’ work has been inspired by research trips to ancient sites and to natural wonders across the Great Lakes Region and Beyond. Dennis’ travels began at a young age, taking trips to visit his mother’s people, the Basque Berriochoa Clan, living in the Idaho and Montana Rocky Mountain area. His travels have inspired both his paintings and his sculptures. Dennis currently works out of Northeastern Illinois, as well as the Wilderness Coast of Ontario. Each original painting is presented in a handmade frame. Dennis’ highly detailed frames contain inlays and unique touches that truly complete the piece. He has participated in over 100 solo, juried, public and private shows in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom over the past 25 years. Several of Dennis’ sculptures and paintings are on permanent display at museums, public libraries, historical societies, and national landmarks, as well as private collections across the country.

  • Some of Dennis Downes' most recent honors in Painting and Sculpting are:
  • 2007 Joliet Fine Arts, “Festival of the Masters” (National Show) Best of Show, 2-Dimensional
  • 2008 Glencoe, “Festival of the Masters” (National Show) - Best of Show, Painting
  • 2009 Chicago, “Lakefront Sculpture Exhibition” - Honorarium and Bronze Sculpture installation in Downtown, Chicago
  • 2008, 2009, 2011 Northbrook Fine Arts, “Art in the Park” - Award of Excellence, Best of Show
  • 2009 HGTV National Broadcast of Dennis’ Artwork - High Relief Sculptures, Dog Ponies
  • 2010, 2011 AMDUR “Barrington Art Festival” (National Show) - Best of Show, Painting
  • 2010 Permanent Installation of 8’ Realistic Bronze Sculpture, Chicago - “Captain George “Cap” Wellington Streeter”
  • 2011 “Native American Trail Marker Trees: Marking Paths Through the Wilderness” Author Dennis Downes, Published by Neal Samors was Released.
  • 2011 Governor C. L. Otter of the State of Idaho presented Dennis Downes with a Proclamation in honor of his Bronze Sculpture of Saint Valentin Berrio-Ochoa and his historical research and connection to the Saint.
  • 2011 Lakes Region historical Society and the Town of Antioch honored the Author and Artist Dennis Downes with a Mayoral Proclamation and declared December 3rd, 2011 officially Dennis Downes Day.
  • 2012 Glenview Board of Park Commissioners declared February 23rd, 2012 to be an official day in history to honor Dennis Downes’ artistic and historical accomplishments to the community.
  • 2012 Northbrook Arts Commission and Northbrook Historical Museum presented a Proclamation from the Village of Northbrook declaring March 17th, 2012 a day of honor to the artist and author, Dennis Downes.
  • 2012 The Antioch Fine Arts Foundation awarded Dennis Downes an Honorary Lifetime Membership “in recognition of Dennis Downes’ depth of artistic spirit which stands on historical research.”
  • 2012 Glenbrook North High School awarded Dennis Downes the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his lifelong accomplishments as an Author and an Artist.
  • 2012 February 23, Glenview Illinois Mr. Downes was presented with the Presidents proclamation for achievements as a Artist and Author
  • 2012 March 13, Mr. Downes received proclamation from the Northbrook village President for his life's work as an Artist and Author ,as well a day in his honor March 17, 2012 was declared… Dennis Downes Day… for the village.
  • 2012 Oct 12 in Antioch Illinois, Antioch fine Arts foundation awarded Mr. Downes with an Honorary lifetime membership in recognition of the depth and spirit of his work.
  • 2014 Dennis Downes' paintings and the artist himself appeared in the award winning motion picture "23 Blast". Directed by Dylan Baker and Produced by Gary Donatelli
  • 2016 Official Ojibwe Naming Ceremony & Documentation bestowed upon Dennis Downes by Earl Otchingwanigan, Minnesota State University at Bemidji
  • 2016 Landscape Architecture Magazine's November 2016 issue featured an 8 page article titled "Living Signposts" byTimothy A. Schuler highlighting significant portions of Dennis' work and studies.
  • 2016 Permanent Installation of the 5-foot bronze "Trail Marker Tree" on the Hughes' Redwing Estate in Northeastern Illinois.
  • 2017 Mr. Downes received the Honored: Eagle feather award: from Hilda Little Fawn Williams, Ottawa elder and direct descendent of Chief Pontiac. For helping preserve Native American history in the Great Lakes.
  • 2017 September 8, Mr. Downes was a featured artist in the 100th anniversary of Catholic charities in Chicago, Gala of the arts held at Navy pier in the Grand Ballroom.
  • 2017 December 11, Village of Antioch purchased the 7ft. Bronze Trail Marker tree sculpture by Mr. Downes to be permanently installed on Main Street accompanied by a Bronze plaque.

Saint Valentin Berrio-Ochoa Dennis and the Boise Basque Dancers surrounding the bronze high relief sculpture of Saint Valentin Berrio-Ochoa at St. John’s Cathedral. Downes’ historically significant bronze was dedicated and installed into the Basque Museum and Cultural Center in Boise, leading to the Governor of the State of Idaho, C. L. “Butch” Otter, to officially proclaim July 29, 2011 to be Saint Valentin Berrio-Ochoa Remembrance Day.


Dennis’ works has served to support and encourage the underprivileged and those in need at various charitable fundraising events over the years.
A schedule of some of I his past and upcoming charitable events can be seen on the Events Page of this website.

  • Dennis is a member or contributor to the following organizations:
  • The Deer Path Art League of Lake Forest, IL
  • The Antioch Fine Arts Foundation of Antioch, IL
  • The Northbrook Art Commission of Northbrook, IL
  • The Basque Museum and Cultural Center of Boise, ID
  • The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Public Art Program
  • President of the Great Lakes Trail Marker Tree Society (GLTMTS)www.GreatLakesTrailTreeSociety.org
  • Dennis is the author of the book, Native American Trail Marker Trees: Marking Paths Through the Wilderness.
    This book summarizes Dennis’ thirty year study of the Trail Marker Trees.
    It is available for purchase at the publisher’s website: www.chicagosbooks.com or the author’s GLTMTS website.

"For both painting and sculpture, Downes conducts exhaustive research" remarking on 'his dedication to education as well as to pure form in art."
Dr. Harry Spell, historian and foundry owner

For information regarding Bronze Projects or Commissioned Sculptures and Paintings: Please contact Downes Studio at 847-395-8875 Or email: downesstudio@earthlink.net