Joe Ferrara was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1931. He was a painter of traditional Southwest images, and wildlife renditions and was also a sculptor and commercial artist. Ferrara earned his BFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He worked for several years as an illustrator with firms and agencies in New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut. He lived In Hamden, Connecticut where he established his first studio in 1962. For several years he operated a complete commercial art service. He is best known for his Winchester Calendar series that he started in 1967. These calendars have become collectors items and now have a circulation of over 400,000. He also designed engravings for guns and medallions.