Elzy J. "Bill" Bird was a Salt Lake City native known for his artistic talent. He grew up on a farm in East Layton, Utah, and worked on cattle ranches in Swan Valley, Idaho. Bird's childhood is detailed in his book, The Old Farm, which features his own sketches. He attended West High School in Salt Lake City, where he studied art under Cornelius Salisbury and later under James T. Harwood and Jack Sears at the University of Utah. Bird furthered his art education at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles under Don Graham, working at the Walt Disney Studios. His watercolors have been exhibited in prestigious venues like the Denver Art Museum and Santa Barbara Museum, as well as the 1939 New York World's Fair. His works can be found in collections such as the Utah Arts Council and the Springville Museum of Art, among others. Bird was involved in various arts organizations, serving on the board of directors for the Utah State Institute of Fine Arts and the Art Barn (now Salt Lake Art Center). From August 1937 to January 1942, he directed Utah's WPA Federal Arts Project before leaving to serve in the Armed Forces. Bird served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was present during the Okinawa invasion. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Bird wrote and illustrated several children's books, including How Do Bears Sleep? (1990). He passed away on May 7, 2001, in Salt Lake City.