My friend is a sculptor…Guest Post by Kelley Leigh

10 May

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.”

‘True that.


14 responses to “My friend is a sculptor…Guest Post by Kelley Leigh

  1. Adina

    May 10, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Well put, KJL. I heartily agree.

  2. TeriMiller

    May 10, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Incredible words, powerful images; truth and grace and suffering and beauty, intertwined to reveal the splendor of life.

    I’m so proud and grateful to call you my big brother, Scott!

    • scottstearmanstudio

      May 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Teri….my baby sis. You keep me encouraged…. You have that gift you know? Speak it with reckless disregard. Everyone loves to hear it from you.

  3. Kevin Miller

    May 10, 2012 at 4:46 am

    What a stellar testimony of a man who has become a permanent, lifetime monument of righteousness in my life, just as he creates stories of…in bronze. Scott, this needs to be a link from your website. Thank you brother, for committing to a vocation that allows your calling to come through in a way that blesses so many people. We drove by your soldier’s monument in Woodland Park the other day and Teri told the kids, “That monument that Uncle Scott made will be there long after we die…after YOUR kids die!” That…is so worthy. Thanks Brother, for doing what you do, and for being who you be…

    • scottstearmanstudio

      May 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Thanks Kevin…. we’re all building stuff that will outlive each of us. You challenge me to want to be sure I do it well. Eventually, the work of my life will be all that is left. I want Nekoda’s kids to know about me and if they can see and touch the work of my hands…and life…. that will be enough.

  4. steve stearman

    May 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    What a tribute to you. Well deserved, my brother. Besides the 7 pieces that I have in my office and the ones Vickie and I have in our home, every time I walk across the SNU campus I re-connect with you in spirit when I see the incredible pieces that are displayed. Your talent is off the chart amazing. (Now if you would seriously consider that ZZ Top tribute piece in front of Loren’s window, that would cap it all off.)

    • scottstearmanstudio

      May 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks Steve. My friend Kelly is a words artist. Glad John Lennon gives you daily inspiration….wait til you see my Ringo.

  5. Michelle Perkins

    May 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I believe life was meant to surround us with moments that take our breathe away and move our hearts beyond words… God has instructed us to create memorials to remind OURSELVES of where we have been historically and all that has taken place to get us here today. Scott Stearman does both in the largest and most artistically generous way I have ever seen! Absolutely stunning creativity and skill and to give God the credit for his workmanship should be a confounding inspiration to everyone of us!! How improved and impactful a world full of those dedicated to such detailed perfection in what they “do”. I am simply left with…”WOW”…and KELLY LEIGH…your narrative was unequivocally outstanding! Thank you!

    • scottstearmanstudio

      May 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Thank you Michelle. We’re all trying to do our best at what we do, huh? Your words make me want to try to do better.

    • KLeigh

      May 11, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Thanks for your comment, Michelle. I liked how you put this: “I believe life was meant to surround us with moments that take our breathe away and move our hearts beyond words.”
      Yes. Agreed!

  6. randolphjames

    May 11, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Scott, you always make me think of “workmanship”….the kind we read about in Eph 2. The care, the love, the heart you pour into each project….Friends, is this not a model of the workmanship that we all are? Sit there and just imagine the Creator hovering over you, creative juices flowing, care and concern…doing his workmanship. Just like Scott. Thank you, Brother, for Christ in you.


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