When my friend Scott starts to tell a story, a chatty room gets quiet. His stories are witty, drawn out patiently, and worth hearing. He’s like big ole’ Grizzly Adams, Will Rogers, and your favorite cousin, all wrapped together. A few years ago, one of my sons described Scott as a “Santa in Summer.” If that’s true, then Santa lives in a big-timber log house in the mountains and does road trips on a huge yellow motorcycle with his wife Hermine.
People listen to Scott. And, Scott leans in to listen to people. That is probably why he’s so outstanding at what he does. Scott Stearman is a sculptor. He tells his stories in bronze.
Bronze sculptures are timeless containers for our collective stories. What sculptures capture in the present, they continue to speak long into the ages. Bronzes outlive the generations that birth them. They preside over public places and whisper their history into the present. Like no other art form, they withstand the weather of time, and tirelessly ask the future to pause and remember.
Scott’s studio and partner foundry are here in Colorado, but his work permanently stands and whispers in places like universities, city squares, military memorials, hospitals, financial institutions — all over the country.
One of my favorite things about Scott’s work is the layers of detailed symbolism he includes. It’s like playing “I Spy” to find the embedded messages. For instance, one of his military sculpture includes details only a soldier will notice.
- A wristwatch set to 9:11 as a nod to the New York terrorist attacks.
- A picture of a soldier’s fiance’ tucked in a helmet.
- A metal feather taken from Saddam Hussein’s palace — placed on the ground under a boot, in symbol of defeat.
- A right shoulder empty of gear, and one knee-pad on a right-knee, for a rifleman’s clear shot.
- A wedding ring quietly speaking it’s promise to someone back home.
- And his memorial sculpture at US Central Command in FL, places a very real replica of Scott’s Fort Carson model, Sgt. Amy Perkins strategically. She is now standing permanently, looking directly at the name of the fiance’ she lost, killed in Afghanistan.
The stories embedded in his work are rich and varied. And he continues to cover new territory with his sculpture. This is what I wrote, in black Sharpie marker, on a locker door in Scott’s studio:
“In this space, our friend shows us life. When he creates with clay, he makes something from nothing, truth from dirt, beauty from earth and he points us to our creator.”