Ila Mae McAfee was born 1897 in the small ranching community of Sargents in southwestern Colorado near Gunnison. She was raised on her family’s ranch south of Gunnison and attended Logan County School, riding ten miles each way to school. In 1916, she graduated from Gunnison High School and then spent time in Los Angeles at the West Lake School of Art and the Haz Art School (1917-1918). In Taos, she became known for her pueblo paintings and her depictions of horses and other animals, as well as ranch scenes and landscapes. In 1981, she was voted Taos Artist of the Year. She also worked as a WPA artist, completing many commissions for post office locations such as Edmond, Oklahoma, and Clifton, Texas. Ila McAfee died in 1995 in Pueblo, Colorado, where she moved after leaving her adobe home in Taos, New Mexico in late summer 1993.