Linda Little’s work as a professional sculptor is being recognized far beyond her home in Dickinson.
She was recently notified the bronze sculpture “Guardians” was accepted as a donation by the Pentagon to become a permanent fixture in its Mark Center Conference Center.
The sculpture depicts the American bald eagle, who is protecting soldiers within its mighty wing. It’s being bronzed in a Colorado foundry and will be delivered to the Pentagon hopefully in time for Veterans Day.
Little, who works out of her studio in Dickinson, credits the inspiration for “Guardians” to the Holy Spirit.
Two years ago, she was sitting in Breakforth Bible Church praying for America and the men and women who protect her. She looked up to a screen that had a photo of men standing on what appeared to be the deck of a ship.
“The more I looked at it, I saw this vision of a beautiful eagle with soldiers in her wing. It shook me up a little bit. I try to listen every day to the Holy Spirit, but I was thinking, OK, if I see it again next week I’ll do it. It will be the biggest commission I’ve ever received.”
The following week, the same picture flashed on the screen at church. While asking her friend to email the photo, she confided, “I think the Lord revealed a sculpture he wants me to do.”
Little’s husband, Parke Little prepared the armature -- the frame that holds the clay.
“I told him what I wanted and every day I’d work a little bit. I went very slowly.”
She submitted a packet of the proposed donation to a staffer at the Arlington Cemetery.They’d been discussing how to get the piece to the facility.
Months later, Little received a call with the message: “Linda, your packet was sitting on my desk and an official from the Pentagon happened to see it and said, ‘That belongs in the Pentagon.”
Weeks passed before five threads of people agreed they could accept the gift valued at approximately $38,000. The sculpture is 33 inches in height, 33 inches wide and 19 inches in depth.
“I have some people who literally stepped up and said they want to help financially. They have donated money to help me get this piece there. It’s been unbelievable,” she said.
Little wasn’t always a professional sculptor. She experienced a traumatic head injury in a Colorado car accident in 1996 and was in rehab for 18 months. She prayed the Lord would teach her a new career that requires the use of her hands instead of her brain. She was one of eight students accepted to study with master sculptor Valentin Okorokov.She’s gone on to have a successful sculpting career in Dickinson. Examples of her bronze sculptures may be seen at Edgewood Hawks Point (two bronzed eagles) and Veterans Memorial (the soldier).
“I designed the project and sculpted the soldier -- the face is of my husband when he returned from Vietnam in 1967 and the hands are my son’s,” she said.
“The head trauma is the only reason I’m doing this work,” she continued. “The good Lord put me in touch with an artist to teach my hands to do what my brain couldn’t.”
Little made the announcement regarding the “Guardians” to coincide with the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on America.
“My prayer is this sculpture will honor all who look upon her. The American bald eagle in her mighty wing protects these soldiers as the Holy Spirit provides his precious protection for us all. May we never experience the sorrow of that dreadful day… God bless America the land that I love.”
She has a website, lindalittlesculptor.com.She welcomes donations to help cover the expenses of getting “Guardians” to the Pentagon.
“People from China, Russia and Africa look at my website,” she said. “I encourage people who look at the website, if they see something special, by all means give me a call.”