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Utah sculptor creates 11 big bronze ballers for Ohio football stadium

SHARE Utah sculptor creates 11 big bronze ballers for Ohio football stadium

LEHI — Scott Rogers, a professional Utah sculptor, recently completed the monumental bronze statue “FOOTBALL, circa 1890.” Rogers hosted an open house of the work at the Metal Arts Foundry in Lehi on Monday before it was shipped to be displayed at the Newark High School football stadium in Newark, Ohio.

Rogers, who specializes in multi-figured pieces, was commissioned to complete the piece by the Gilbert Reese Family Foundation. It honors the family and those who have played football at Newark High School, and will be installed at the stadium later this week.

The sculpture features 11 full-size football players grouped together after a game. When approaching the piece, viewers will notice the figures are wearing nose guard masks that were common for players in the late 1800s. The finished product weighs approximately 5,000 pounds and took three years to complete.

“I am honoring those people that played football in that little town and to inspire them to seek excellence,” Rogers said. “I wanted to exude strength and show the players after they completed a game on the gridiron.”

The sculpture was completed using the lost-wax casting process. Through this process that dates back to at least 500 B.C., according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, molten bronze is poured into a wax cast model. After the bronze has hardened, the wax model is melted away to reveal a sculpture with a hollow core. Rogers' sculpture utilized 94 sections of molds, and was welded together and stained with a dark bronze patina. The entire process was completed at the Metal Arts Foundry.

Rogers primarily focuses on works symbolizing the “fringe” of the American West, including Native American and spiritual pieces. He has been commissioned to complete several sculptures that are on display throughout Utah and across the nation.

With a 28-year dedication to storytelling and the sculpting process, Rogers has studied anatomy and practiced his skills in his Paradise, Utah, studio. Through tiny details, his goal is to attract an audience and help them understand the deeper meaning of his work.

“A good piece of art can help people feel something inside of them,” Rogers said. “That’s where I would want people to go whether they buy works of art or not.”

A close-up of "FOOTBALL, circa 1890" by Scott Rogers.

A close-up of “FOOTBALL, circa 1890" by Scott Rogers.

Megan McNulty, Deseret News