Hello World! Often the first program written in a new computer programming language is a simple routine that outputs the text ‘Hello World’ to the screen to help the novice learn the ropes. Please forgive my slightly nerdy introduction here as I transition from software development and technology and say ‘Hello World’ as I launch Fine Art Memorials, a venture that has a lot of meaning to me personally.
Some time ago, my mother passed away suddenly after an unexpected illness. I was thrust into a whirlwind of settling her estate and planning services. She was cremated, but I wasn’t happy with the selection of urns through the funeral home or the Internet. With a thousand other things to do and decisions to be made, I settled on a wooden box urn with a laser-cut inlayed design. The urn was nice, but it was a bit anonymous and didn’t feel like a fitting vessel for a woman with an intense appreciation of life. She loved riding motorcycles and sports (particularly the Denver Broncos!) and spent countless hours indulging these passions with beloved friends and family.
After her services, she was scattered at a mountain lake where the family would often camp and water ski when she was a girl – and I was left with a vessel that was special as it carried my mother’s remains. Unfortunately, it didn’t really represent her life or her passions.
Soon after, I saw an ad for an art gallery featuring a bronze statue of a 1930s Grand Prix racecar. The car was captured mid-corner with ribbons of air coming off the road and the driver furiously working the steering wheel. The statue captured a sense of motion and more importantly – life! I thought back to my mother’s urn and realized there was a better way…
Fine Art Memorials is being launched to give people an alternative to the typical mass-produced urns. We are seeking to create beautiful, lasting memorials to well-lived lives. There are three major factors that set our offerings apart from the traditional offerings.
- First, we believe in celebrating a person’s life, not their death. Too many of the urns I’ve seen are focused on death or grieving. A life is like a novel – a unique collection of experiences, accomplishments, and setbacks shared with friends and family – that is ultimately capped by a passing. Our urns honor the plot of a life’s story instead of the sense of loss that we feel at the end.
- Second, we make memorials that can be enjoyed as art. There are a few traditional urn design themes – the vase, a box, etc. Even when people get creative (i.e. motorcycle gas tanks), cremation urns look like cremation urns. This may be fine for a funeral ceremony, but less so for a lasting memorial. Many people keep a loved one’s urn displayed in the home. Unfortunately, the traditional designs can cast a pall over a room. We believe that a thoughtful piece of art is a much better vessel and memorial than standard mass-produced urns. In another break from tradition, we encourage people to enjoy this art while they’re still alive. People who find joy and meaning in golf, motoring, fly fishing, service to God, etc should be able to appreciate these passions through art in life!
- Finally, we are creating heirloom-quality memorials. Our statues are first and foremost handcrafted pieces of art. The sculptures are our own unique designs that are cast in bronze (not resin!) for the timeless appeal and permanence of classical art. Our bases are carved from large blocks of walnut. The ash chambers are beautifully flocked to respect the mortal remains. If ashes are interred or scattered, the vessel portion of the base can be removed and the top plate retained as a base for the sculpture. This allows the piece to live on as a lasting memorial in the home. Like a painting or other fine sculpture, our memorials are intended to fit into a room’s décor and be enjoyed for years.
I am launching Fine Art Memorials because I was disappointed in the selection of cremation urns for my mother. The urn can be a memorial that honors the joys in life and the cherished time spent with friends and family. Even after they’re gone, people have a presence in our lives. Our statues are intended to be an embodiment or a continued connection to our loved ones. They are to be displayed proudly in the home – not as an urn, but as a loving memorial that can be seen and touched to remember a life well-lived.
We are working to come up with more designs that honor more of life’s passions. Pieces celebrating motoring, golf, fishing, family, service to God are all in progress. Teaching, service to country, skiing, gardening, and music are also in the queue. If you have requests or just want to share your thoughts, please reach out through the Contact Us page. I am excited to finally be able to offer options and would love to hear from you.