ST. GEORGE — Southern Utah is widely known for its stunning beauty and access to outdoor recreation, but it is also a haven for artists who are inspired by the land, the history and the serenity the area offers.
Renowned sculptor Jerry Anderson’s love affair with the southwest began in his youth and continues to this day. His passion for telling the stories of the landscape, animals and peoples of the southwest is reflected in award-winning artwork that can be seen on display around the country and at his home.
Anderson’s home is a museum in its own right – and is even occasionally open to the public – filled with paintings, sketches and sculptures that have been inspired both by the spirit of the West and the people he loves.
A student of the Famous Artists School – an art correspondence course founded by New York Society of Illustrators artists, including Norman Rockwell – Anderson learned from the masters when he was in his 20s, he said.
While art was always part of his life, he spent 25 years working with steel in California before purchasing property in the Silver Reef area of Leeds and pursuing art full time.
An accomplished painter and sketch artist, Anderson quickly learned more about 3-D art and how to create an armature, the framework around which a sculpture is built. He built a few pieces, he said, and after that, he and his wife, Fawn, went all in.
The pair purchased a large motor home and began traveling around the United States to various art shows and galleries making connections, as well as a name in the art world.
Since 1979, when the Andersons built their home in Southern Utah, Jerry Anderson said he has been totally immersed in his art while his wife takes care of the business side of things.
“As a result, I’ve got some pretty nice pieces out there,” he said.
Some of his most notable pieces that can be seen in Southern Utah include the Come Unto Me sculpture located inside Spilsbury Mortuary in St. George, depicting a woman crossing the veil between life and death into the waiting arms of Jesus Christ; the Old Sorrel sculpture, located on the Southern Utah University campus depicting the famous horse credited with helping settlers build Cedar City; and The Centurion, also on the SUU campus depicting 12 great thinkers over the centuries including, Aristotle, Plato, Marie Curie, Socrates, John Stuart Mills, William Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, Germaine De Stail, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton and Gallileo Gallei.
Each piece that Anderson creates is unique, but if you ask him which piece is his greatest, he will say he hasn’t created it yet.
“With that feeling inside, you always want to strive to do your best,” he said.
Fawn Anderson said that as a true artist’s artist, her husband could have a conversation with a person and not remember their name nor a single thing that was said, but he will remember how that person smiled or how the light moved across their face.
That is a small example of the amount of passion he puts into his craft, and he said that art is in his heart constantly.”
“In fact,” he said, “if it weren’t heart and my soul, I wouldn’t do a bit of it.”
Anderson works in many mediums, including bronze sculpture, painting, ink on paper, stone and wood carving, found objects and even jewelry. Several of his works and a history of his life as an artist are on display in his home gallery by appointment or on every fourth Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Anderson’s art gallery is located just north of the Silver Reef Museum, 1903 Wells Fargo Road, Leeds.
A member of the Southern Utah Art Guild, Anderson has a piece in the guild’s “Capturing the Light” art show that is currently on display at the Red Cliff Gallery in the St. George City Commons building, 220 N. 200 East, St. George.
Anderson’s piece titled Why took first place in the 3-D category. The piece, depicting a pregnant Native American woman is actually part of an art triplet, which is completed by two other statuettes: a male Native American titled How and a horse titled Where.
“The three of them make up a piece that’s pretty nice,” Anderson said.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
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