Ken Bjorge stands beside the first
This desktop sized work is now available in limited edition. A $4,700. or greater donation to the Soldiers Memorial Fund will can reserve one of these sculptures for you or your company.
A 1/2 life sized version of this sculpture will be presented to the White House early in 2006.
day was perfect for a BBQ by the Lake
The statue depicts a male and female soldier giving a small girl a teddy bear. The inspiration came from an email sent to Paul Vallely.
A 1.5 times life sized statue will be created and placed in a Memorial Park and Garden on the shores of Flathead Lake in Bigfork, Montana
The Bigfork community is famous for stepping up to support a worthy cause and the Soldiers Memorial Fund is certainly worthy of all the support we can give it.
Bjorge Creates Sculpture For
From The Lakeshore Country Journal
was 1988 when Ken Bjorge relocated to Bigfork from Spokane, WA. It was
a bold move because he was not only changing locations but careers. Previously
Ken had been a law professor at Gonzaga University. Here in Bigfork, Ken
intended to live his dream to be a sculptor. When I started the Lakeshore
Country Journal in 1992, Ken was one of the first artists that I wrote
about. His story was compelling and the work he was creating was clearly
being made with a loving heart and mind.
told me that he loves the challenge involved in creating a larger than
life sized piece. "When you make something larger than life, there
is more to the process than just making all the parts larger. There is
a mechanical side to the process but there is also an artistic perception
that must be considered. It can be very difficult to find the right look
and feel for a large piece. Sometimes you have to put the mechanical aspect
off to the side and just work from what you know looks right to your eye."
just finished a larger than life sized sculpture of Earl Campbell, the
Heisman trophy winner and NFL great for the University of Texas. He has
also completed a 1.25 times size mountain lion for a residence in Whitefish
at the Lion Mountain development and is currently in the final stages
of creating a 12 foot tall elk for the entrance to a development on the
east shore of Flathead Lake. "This is hard work, and both physically
and mentally challenging, but I love it, there is nothing else I would
asked Ken about his latest project, the Fallen Heroes of the Global War
on Terror. "A while back I had some people from South Carolina in
the gallery. At the time I was working on the big elk and they were very
interested in my monumental sized pieces. They said that they had been
thinking about commissioning a sculpture to honor the veterans in their
area and asked me about creating a contemporary piece that would honor
our countrys more recent veterans. I needed to find out more about
the look and feel of the modern soldier.
first person who came to mind was Paul Vallely, the retired U.S. Army Major
General and Fox News military analyst who moved to Bigfork a few years ago.
I knew Paul from John Creamer's Bible study, so I called him and arranged
a lunch date so that I could pick his brain and learn more about our current
soldiers in the struggle against global terror. When we met for lunch, the
first thing Paul asked me was if I would be interested in creating a piece
for a fallen heroes project that he had been thinking about. I was very
touched by the idea and felt exactly as he did that it was important to
honor those who have already paid the ultimate price for our freedom from
this newest threat to our life and liberty."
Just before Memorial Day Iwrote an article about the Soldiers Memorial Fund that was established in memory of their son Scott. The Fallen Heroes project is a direct result of Paul and Muffin's dedication to keeping their son's memory alive through the work of this fund.
and Ken collaborated on the design of the piece and came up with the idea
of a sculpture with three figures, based on an email that Paul read at
Bible study one Friday morning. "The story of the Iraqi girl with
a teddy bear touched our hearts and made us realize that there are many
sides to this struggle and many kinds of heroes in any war. From that
point on, the energy from Paul and Muffin Vallely just flowed into the
project and it quickly gained momentum."
model for the Fallen Heroes Project was unveiled at the Memorial Day BBQ
just a couple of weeks ago. Next up in the project is either the 1/2 life
sized piece to be presented to President Bush for placement at the White
House or the 1.5 times life sized piece that will be placed here in Bigfork.
"Paul and Muffin are currently working out the details for the next
step in the project and once they determine what that step is, I will
go to work on it. It is such an honor to be working on a project of this
nature. Regardless of how a person might feel about the global war on
terror, we must honor those brave soldiers who step up to serve their
country and preserve our precious freedoms. It is right that we do this
sooner rather than later. Our soldiers deserve to be recognized for their
sacrifice and to be honored by those of us who continue to enjoy the freedoms
they protect and defend every day."
Congratulations to Ken on this monumental project and also to Paul and Muffin Vallely and the many supporters and volunteers who continue to work for and support the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund. It is wonderful and amazing that our little community here in Montana should be the focal point for such an important and inspiring endeavor. If you would like to learn more about this project or the work of the Soldiers Memorial Fund, you can visit their web site at www.soldiersmemorialfund.org. Donations for the project can be sent to the address you will find on the web site.