A couple weeks ago I had the most remarkable experience. I had the opportunity to take my family to visit Angela Johnson at her sculpting studio in American Fork, Utah.
What Angela does defies description (see below). The story of how she got there, is even more amazing.
Before I tell her story, here are some photos from our visit to show you some of her current work sculpting images of Jesus for a huge exhibit on Christ being built at Utah’s Thanksgiving Point.
You can click each image for a larger picture.
I include my family in this shot, so you can see a sense of scale – this sculptor of Christ walking on the water is 16′ x 16′, the Savior Himself is over 6′ tall. The following shots are various angles of this one gigantic sculpture. You just don’t get a sense of the “presence” of the piece though, unless you see it in real life.
But the most remarkable thing about this experience was her story. I’d seen some pictures of Angela’s work (she’s a friend of the family), and wanted my kids to have the rare opportunity to see something so magnificent in actual progress.
She kindly welcomed us to her studio, where she gave us a small tour, mostly just letting us absorb the work on our own terms. Then she sat us down at a little work table where she had a small block of clay for each of us to mold something out of.
While we worked, she told us her story.
Angela was in her mid 30’s, and was a professional opera singer (we asked her to sing “Amazing Grace” for us, and it was incredible).
One day she was sitting at the piano working on some music, when suddenly she just felt the urge to do something different. Totally different. She wasn’t happy with how her current career was going, and thought that she should change.
She stood up, and being artistically minded, drove down to the local art shop where she ended up buying some clay, more on a whim than anything else.
She came home and sculpted a little girl. Once she started, she just couldn’t stop. When she was done, she realized this was what she wanted to do. So she did. She dropped her current career right then and there, and pursued her new one with vigor.
Now, only 12 years later, she’s one of the best sculptors in the nation.
There’s a lot more to Angela’s story that let’s you appreciate just how much she’s overcome.
I left her studio inspired. Inspired that people can change, no matter how old you are. Inspired to pursue my own dreams, no matter how far they may seem from my current course. And more importantly, inspired to share with others her story, that they may receive the same inspiration.
It’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to do something remarkable… to BE remarkable.
Angela Johnson is an example of that.
If you’d like to see more of her amazing work you can visit her website. These were just a very few of the pieces she’s currently got in her workshop, some of the best ones are on tour, but there are photos on her sites.
www.ajsculptures.com (see her portfolio, and purchase some of her sculptures)
I am the light of the world foundation, where you can donate to her current project at the Garden at Thanksgiving Point