¤ A dedication ceremony for "Steamboat Spirit" by sculptor George Lundeen is at 3 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Hill. A small version of the statue is on display and for sale at the Wild Horse Gallery in the Steamboat Sheraton Resort Hotel. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Ashley Stamp Scholarship Fund. Call 879-7660.
If you want to leave a lasting legacy, leave it in bronze.
Long after the artist and the object of a bronze sculpture are gone, the artwork will remain.
Sculptor George Lundeen is aware that, with every piece he makes, future generations will see his work. The literal meaning from the moment of creation will have disappeared by then, so each piece must hold a meaning larger than its model.
In his artist's biography, Lundeen writes, "As someone views and touches a piece of my work, it is my sincere hope that they will look past that hard surface of bronze to find the life which I try so much to capture within."
On Saturday, people will gather at the base of Howelsen Hill to dedicate a sculpture by Lundeen titled "Steamboat Spirit."
The piece was commissioned by the family of Ashley Stamp, a 13-year-old Alpine ski racer with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. She died Dec. 19, 2004, while practicing for a race at the Vail ski area. She suffered fatal injuries in a collision with a snowmobile.
"Steamboat Spirit" is not only dedicated to the memory of Ashley Stamp, but it is also a celebration of all Steamboat's young ski athletes.
Lundeen had never met Ashley Stamp. He
created the sculpture after looking at videotapes and photographs given to him by the family and by watching ski racers.
The sculpture is of a life-size teenage skier wearing a helmet painted similar to the one Stamp wore.
"No one will recognize the person in the sculpture in a generation or two," Lundeen said. "So you want to put more into it -- what they did or stood for.
"This piece is about the excitement of skiing. I tried to capture that moment when it's so exciting coming down the mountain."
In addition to the emotional element in the piece, Lundeen had the technical challenge of creating the feeling of movement down a mountain face without the mountain appearing in the piece.
"Steamboat Spirit" has an incredible amount of speed for an object that does not move. Lundeen created the movement by leaning the figure on a 45-degree angle to the ground.
Steamboat residents may have seen Lundeen's other work across Colorado, such as Elrey Jeppeson in the terminal at the Denver International Airport.
He also has a piece in Concourse B -- a portrait of astronaut Jack Swigert. The astronaut is the second in the edition. The first one stands in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
People also may recognize Lundeen's 14-foot figure of a baseball player in front of Coors Field and the girl on a swing sculpture in the pedestrian mall on Pearl Street in Boulder.
Lundeen lives in Loveland and was introduced to the Stamp family's commission through the Wild Horse Gallery.