Stella Singleton Jones vividly remembers the call from the White House acknowledging receipt of her gift of a historically significant sculpture by her called Unity. For Stella, this memory will be permanently embedded in her mind. To be honored for one’s artwork by the first African American President of the United States is a significant achievement and Stella continues to live up to this accolade as a sculptor.
Stella was inspired to sculpt the extraordinary piece as thanksgiving for the first Black American President of the United States and the dawn of a new multi-cultural administration. The piece arrived at the White House with a note from her that read, “May this “Unity” sculpture serve as a constant reminder that change is possible when we the people unite as one.”
Growing up in the liberal community of Santa Monica, California, offered Stella the opportunity to express herself freely through art. Her love for sculpting in stone came about when she was a student at Santa Monica College. However, her dream of a promising career as an artist was temporarily sidelined by the death of her brother, causing her to drop out of college. She had to earn a living during this time and worked as a word processor. Her dreams of becoming an artist didn’t die; they were just put on hold.
Stella was challenged with another hurdle when, in 1996, she was diagnosed with spinal meningitis, the same disease that led to her brother’s death. While hospitalized, Stella learned that the disease was a consequence of her genetic makeup. However, she was blessed with a caring medical staff who provided the encouragement she needed to get through months and years of physical therapy. For her, living with a life-altering disease meant relying on her strong faith in God and a good doctor who suggested that she return to sculpting. It was a difficult period in her life but eventually, her energy and confidence returned, resulting in the creation of the powerful Them Bones sculpture.
Stella’s art has been exhibited at the Oscars, Emmys, MTV, and ESPY Awards pre-shows as well as participating in a number of charitable causes she feels strongly about.
When asked why she enjoys sculpting, she replies, “It is the beauty of stone and transformation.” Further elaborating, “My work is an expression of form and movement. Stella’s sculpting in stone emerges from a personal definition of alchemy, myth, and time; concepts that are both physical and metaphysical. She enjoys creating in stone, tying into a delicate force that is required to accomplish the image in her head, where to strike because once you have begun to chisel, it is definite and precise.
Stella is currently in the process of writing a book that will inspire others to find their creative side. But for now, she remains focused on her purpose-driven life as an artist.
You can follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stella.singletonjones