Bronze sculpture installed in Avon
Ryan Summerlin July 10, 2014
AVON — As some of you may have noticed, many new beautiful bronze monuments have been erected recently in Avon. The latest of these large sculptures is “Lost Tribes” by sculptor Vala Ola. This brand-new, mega-sized bust was sculpted by Vala Ola and is one of the two sculpted specifically for Avon. It is the latest of nine beautiful bronze monuments installed by David and Jerri Hoffmann, of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate. Their vision for Avon was inspired by the history of the Native Americans. These sculptures add greatly to the beauty of Avon.
“‘Lost Tribes’ represents all the Native American tribes lost to the past,” Vala Ola said. “The rich history and tradition of the native peoples of America adds a beautiful layer to this land. Illnesses brought from Europe and warfare sadly caused some of the native tribes to be lost forever. This work of art honors those lost to us. She is strong, yet apprehensively looking toward the future.
“In Native American culture, jewelry told a story about tribespeople who wore the pieces,” Ola continued. “This sculpture’s jewelry is made of shells and pearls. Wampum shells (the long, tubular ones) were used as currency among the tribes. They were made of the inner spiral, or columella, of the Channeled whelk shell (white, or from quahog when purple). The oval shaped beads are olivia shells. Pearls from oysters were collected and strung on a string of sinew or leather. The pendant is a shell gorget, carved out of the whorl of a conch shell. The cross symbolizes the four winds — it sits within a circle symbolizing the sun/moon. I love to think about how a pearl collected from an oyster in Tampa Bay, Florida, might end up in the mountains of Colorado, traveling great distances while being traded from one hand to the next.
“The composition is unusual, as the sculpture’s head is resting on only four corners, symbolizing the four winds. She is floating like an ethereal memory yet never to be forgotten,” Vala Ola concluded.
Sculptures in the collection include “The Searcher” and “The Drummer” by Martha Pettigrew; “Waiting For An Answer,” “Native American Child with Flag” and “Discovery’s Guide” by George Lundeen; “Mother Goose” by Dennis Smith; and “Spotted Tail Goes To Washington” by Glenna Goodacre. These are some of the artwork in the collection of monumental sculptures. Most of the featured sculptures, chosen by the Hoffmanns, pay tribute to Native Americans.