Sunday, December 11, 2016

#122, the Visionary video

There hasn't been a whole lot going on lately at the studio other than casting some older sculptures and doing some work in my new office, but we did get time to make a video showing the process of creating the Stanley hotel sculpture titled the Visionary. Check it out!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

#121, The Visionary

FO Stanley statue
The Visionary by Sutton Betti and Daniel Glanz, 89"x48"x48", bronze and stone, The Stanley Hotel,
Estes Park, Colorado ©2016

Last Thursday, Dan and I installed our monument The Visionary for the Stanley hotel in Estes Park. Although the sculpture was designed a year ago I had the idea to sculpt a likeness of the builder of the Stanley a few years ago, even talking with a couple of people at the hotel about doing a bronze bust or full figure portrait of mr. Stanley. That idea died as, at the time, there wasn't any funding or approval from the hotel to do a statue of FO. It was late 2015 when my friend and studio mate, sculptor Dan Glanz, and I got an invite to submit a sketch for a potential monument that would be located in the center of the hedge maze, in front of the Stanley hotel. Immediately, Dan and I came up with a wonderful design that would not only be a good likeness of the inventor of the Stanley Steam engine vehicle and the Stanley Dry Plate Company, but would also incorporate written word about FO Stanley and the area, adding another depth to the design. Our rough sketch was selected to be one of three finalists from a pool of about 50 applicants from across the US. Once we were selected as a finalist we needed to create a maquette to help illustrate our concept in three dimensions. On March 9, 2016 we presented our 1/5 scale bronze and stone statuette and landed the highly publicized project. It is important to note that the two other finalists were also winners, as the committee and the hotel's owner John Cullen selected their designs to be located on the Stanley grounds at a later date. Although we won center prize it was great to see our competition win a spot as well.

Our over life size bronze and stone sculpture titled The Visionary reflects Freelan Oscar Stanley's love of the violin. He began building violins when he was 10 years old, a passion which continued throughout his life. It also illustrates his appreciation of the grandiose natural world that surrounds Estes Park, the Rocky Mountain National Park. With one arm leaning against a sandstone column, the inventor, business man, musician and teacher is looking out at the wondrous views of the Rocky Mountains in appreciation for the life they have given him. Having been diagnosed with tuberculosis, he was told to go to the Colorado mountains which immediately cured him of TB.

On September 29, 2016 we had the unveiling. Unfortunately it was initiated on short notice, so some of my family couldn't attend, but it was a great event nonetheless. There were many people involved in making this monument happen and we are very grateful to those that contributed.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

#120, Lest We Forget unveiling

Lest We Forget at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, bronze, 2016
So incredibly humbled and honored to have made this monument honoring the sacrifices of our ww2 veterans with Fredric Arnold. Yesterday was the unveiling at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. This memorial will soon head off to New Orleans' National WW2 Museum.

The project took me 1 1/2 years to sculpt, starting in 2013, and I worked closely with Arnold, a ww2 army air corp pilot and a man whom I call my friend. Although this was THE most difficult monument I have ever created it is also one of the most rewarding. The biggest challenge I had was that I needed to make each of the figures separately yet somehow all relate to each other and not feel disjointed, plus they needed to fit up in bronze (accounting for shrink and all made things very challenging). The reasons for making them one at a time was due to limited studio space and I didn't want to shape 3000 lbs. of clay at the same time. I think it's important to have a sense of accomplishment while doing something so large and by doing them carefully one at a time allowed for a little pat on the back and a feeling of completion. Lots of measuring, but I'm just glad the foundry still talks to me.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

#119, Sleeping Infant and Torso relief

Portrait of a Sleeping Infant, 9 inches x 11 inches, oil based clay
Torso relief, 12 inches x 9 inches, oil based clay

Although I've been busy working on the Stanley monument, I finally set aside some time to work on some new relief sculptures. Portrait of a Sleeping Infant is a private commission for a client that will be given to my clients' daughter and shows the sleeping infant with all his cuteness, little chubby cheeks and cute little fingers. The artwork will be cast in aluminum and patinated similar to my most recent artwork. 

Torso is the latest addition to my family of reliefs and was more a practice in technique. Relief sculpture is a great way to combine my love for drawing with sculpture. Deep lines in the clay accentuate hard edges of form that are in shadow and forms that are further away from the viewer (and ones that get the most light) are blended into the background. These are techniques that I've developed over the years and ones that I apply in most of my relief art.

Friday, July 1, 2016

#118, Western States Endurance Run trophies

Western States Endurance Run trophies by Sutton Betti, bronze on walnut base

This past weekend was the Western States Endurance Run 100 mile race that starts in Squaw Valley and ends in Auburn, California. Each year I create two bronze trophies that go to a male and female winner of the race. On each of the 15" tall statues is etched the winners names, and this year we started adding their times also. Congratulations to Andrew Miller winning with a time of 15:39:36 and Kaci Lickteig winning with a time of 17:57:59. Your sculptures are on their way.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

#117, The Visionary clay

Freelan Oscar Stanley monument
The Visionary by Sutton Betti and Daniel Glanz, over life-size monument, in progress

The story of FO Stanley in Estes Park began in 1903 when the successful businessman and inventor came to Colorado at the recommendation of his doctor to be cured of a resurgence of Tuberculosis. Within a short period of time, Mr. Stanley's health dramatically improved. With a renewed sense of energy and a gratitude towards the mountain air of Estes Park, Colorado, Freelan Oscar Stanley began construction on the Stanley hotel. 

The hotel is known for it's grandeur with stories steeped in history, the paranormal, pop culture and environmentalism.The expansive property boasts amazing architecture with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountain National Park but will probably always be best known as the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining". 

In September 2016, the hotel will add to it's rich history and shine a light on the man that built the hotel, FO Stanley. 350 lbs. of bronze will be used to cast a likeness of the founder of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company and the Stanley Dry Plate Company. He will be holding one of his other inventions, a Stanley Violin, in his left hand while leaning on a sandstone column that will inscribe some of his accomplishments before coming to Colorado, his personal life and how he helped shape Estes Park into what it is today. Above each of the three inscriptions that are etched in the stone will be bronze reliefs to help illustrate the story.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#116, Remembering dad and Remembering the Fallen

Remembering the Fallen bronze
Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze, 2013, Norfolk Veterans Home, Norfolk, NE

remembering the fallen sculpture
Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze 2013, Norfolk Veterans Home, Norfolk, NE

remembering the fallen sculpture
Remembering by Sutton Betti, bronze 2015, Wayne County Veterans Memorial, Wayne, NE
It has been almost exactly one year since my father's passing on April 30, 2015. A day that started out as a great day as I had just sold bronze casting #2/10 of my sculpture Remembering the Fallen (which was my dad's favorite sculpture) quickly ended up as the worst day of my life when I learned that my dad passed away suddenly while walking his dog Sarge.

The sculpture "Remembering the Fallen" was a big reason that my dad had last visited me in Colorado. In early 2013, I was commissioned to create the kneeling US Marine through Norfolk Veterans Park in Norfolk, Nebraska and I consulted closely with my dad during it's creation over the phone. My dad was president of the Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County for many years and only recently before his passing he had stepped down as president of the southern California branch. He worked tirelessly as an advocate assisting service member families with receiving veteran benefits and was also very knowledgable about the US marines, weaponry, uniforms, etc. and so I constantly went to him for advice. We had many discussions about the statue and in 2013 he flew to Colorado to see the statue take shape in bronze and to help with the installation in Nebraska. The installation, however, was delayed so instead we spent quality time together.

Although he didn't get to help with the installation in 2013, the sculpture ended up being his favorite sculpture and for the next two years he would talk about it with me, his friends, fellow vets and members of the VVVC. I think, in some ways, we were able to bond even more through this statue for the last two years of his life. It meant something to him. And THAT meant the world to me.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

#115, winning maquette for the Stanley hotel hedge maze sculpture competition

FO Stanley
The Visionary by Daniel Glanz and Sutton Betti

The Visionary will be installed in the center of the hedge maze in front of the hotel

Last night, my friend Dan and myself presented our maquette called "The Visionary" at the Stanley hotel in Estes Park, Colorado for their hedge maze sculpture competition. We ended up winning the competition and our proposed monument of FO Stanley will be located in front of the hotel in the center of the hedge maze, however we weren't the only winners. Our two competitors also won for their designs and their sculptures will also go at the Stanley hotel grounds area in prominent locations. It is the first time that I've competed where all three finalists won something. It was a great feeling, especially as one of the finalists was an artist that I have a lot of admiration for. Our sculpture will be a 7 foot tall bronze statue of the man responsible for building the Stanley hotel, among his many accomplishments, Freelan Oscar Stanley. He will be holding a violin and bow (as he used to build violins) and leaning against a 55" sandstone column that will have etched some of his accomplishments and why he came to Estes Park in 1903. Each of the three exposed sides of the column will have a relief that relates to the inscribed words. Installation is set for September 1, 2016.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

#114, FO Stanley sculpture video

Since last fall 2015, my friend Dan Glanz and myself have been working on a sculpture maquette for the Stanley Hotel. Our sculpture, the Visionary, would be an over life size full figure portrait of the inventor of the Stanley-steam engine vehicles and builder of the Stanley hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Here is a video that the Stanley recently made of us talking about the sculpture.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

#113, Winters Express article

Master Swimmer bronze statue
Master Swimmer, 72in x 108in x 36in, bronze, concrete and glass, 2016, property of City of Fort Collins, CO

Front page article that came out near my hometown in Winters, CA- December 31, 2015

Colorado statue modeled after Winters High School graduate

Former Winters resident and public art sculptor Sutton Betti completed a bronze monument titled "Master Swimmer" for an ice and aquatics facility in northern Colorado. The statue was modeled after the artist's brother Morgan Fjord, a 2009 Winters High School graduate and swimmer, following his first Full Ironman competition in 2014 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

The sculpture project unofficially began in September 2014 after Betti was contacted by a Fort Collins, CO resident and former Colorado State University professor Dr. George Thornton. A man who at the age of 73 tried to set a Guinness World Record as the oldest person to swim the English Channel on June 24, 2013. Unfortunately hypothermia set in half way through and Thornton had to halt his swim after 9 hours, 18 minutes, and 52 seconds in the 57-degree water.

Dedicated to swimming and to the city of Fort Collins pool and ice facility where he trains at, Thornton decided that he would like to commission and donate a large scale bronze statue. Fortunately for Dr. Thornton Colorado is home to many of the nations most accomplished bronze sculptors and he had, at his fingertips, a "pool" of artists to choose from. After a few interviews he chose Colorado resident and former California native Sutton Betti. Betti had accomplished several large scale monuments and a contract was made between Thornton, the city of Fort Collins and the artist in 2015.

The monument consists of a 200 pound bronze swimmer that is reinforced with 150 pounds of stainless steel spanning the length of the bronze statue and is held up by two large reinforced concrete columns, each weighing 1000 pounds each. On top of each column is 3/4" thick turquoise colored glass that is designed to indicate the level of the water in relation to the swimmer and two concrete caps. 

The statue is located in front of Edora Pool Ice Center, known as EPIC, which is the regions premier ice and aquatics facility with an indoor 50-meter x 25-yard pool and two indoor 200' x 85' ice surfaces.

"This was a wonderful project to have been involved in and I couldn't be happier with how well the sculpture turned out. Since I was given so much freedom in design, I wanted my brother to be the model" said the artist.

The statue took eight months to create and was installed on December 9. The total budget for the project was $40,000 paid for by the Thornton Family Foundation. Helping with the installation is Winters resident and the artist's mother Carolyn Fjord.