When someone first views the 7ft tall bronze sculpture known as “Triumphant” the first thing that is obvious is that at the top of the piece there is life-size eagle with wings spread in a majestic pose. It would also seem obvious that the title “Triumphant” is describing that beautiful bird. However, with a closer look below the eagle, someone might also notice that the eagle is perch on a tree that looks mostly, if not completely dead. With an even closer examination, one can see that there is a significant burn mark near the base of the tree and that the tree, in an effort to fight for its life, has continued to grow over the burn. The tree is not dead but continues to fight for it’s right to exist it draws strength from its deep roots that have grown through the centuries in harsh conditions seeking what little nourishment the earth could provide and what blessings from the heavens could rain down in the high desert. To prove its strength the eagle has found this tree a worthy foundation for knowing that it will not break under pressure, but will gladly endure whatever trials it is called upon to endure.
“Triumphant” is a piece that can help show several lessons. First, it teaches that for the human spirit to endure it needs to grow deep roots. Second, those roots must draw upon the nourishment that is provided to the roots from above. And there may be at least one more lesson to be learned. One might see the burn mark as being an unsightly blemish, but the sensitive eye will see it as beautiful. Our marks can tell a story of triumph. If we have learned and grown from our experiences, then we can wear our marks without shame. They are badges of honor and marks of wisdom to teach others.
Here are a few interesting tidbits about this piece. This eagle was sculpted with great accuracy and detail. Each of the primary, secondary, and tail feathers were separately sculpted, numbered and assigned to a specific placement on the main body of the wing and tail. Precise measurements were taken and scaled to proper size so that this eagle has extreme life-like qualities and will be a stunning piece of which any art collector can be pleased to display. The eagle was originally sculpted to
be perched on top of a sword as part of a Veterans Memorial in
Rogers Arkansas. After installing the memorial I used the exact same eagle molds to create “Triumphant.” The tree trunk was sculpted a year after the eagle was sculpted. It was created as a reflection of a time in my life when my own place of business burned down and I was able to rebuild and grow. Although we had insurance, the company that insured the building refused to pay. I can only credit blessings from above in the form of friends and family, and the deep roots that were instilled by my parents from childhood that helped see my family through a tough time in my life.