One of Texas' winningest football coaches receives a new honor
By Abigail Allen
Scott Stearman carefully scraped and shaped his clay on Saturday, adding piece by piece to create a likeness of a Pilot Point legend.
G.A. Moore, who sat before him in the gallery of the Justice Creek Art Studio, did his best to stay still and consistent for Scott to recreate his face.
"I always tell children, if you can make snakes and balls, you can sculpt," Scott said while working on Moore's ears.
Both artist and subject chatted with the people there to watch the work take shape.
Gary Miller asked whether Scott would craft glasses for the piece, which over time the artist and Moore agreed wouldn't be necessary.
Mayor Shea Dane-Patterson and long-time resident Denyse McCord talked about their memories of Coach Moore and their family's interactions with him, too.
"Coach, you didn't always wear glasses, did you?" McCord asked, which he confirmed.
Moore shared some of his memories, too.
"This square was a special place when I was growing up," he said. "On a Saturday afternoon, you had a drawing—all the farmers came to town."
McCord added to that.
"What's special is my dad watched you grow up," she said. "And you watched me grow up."
Saturday was a first for Scott.
"I've done live art several times," he said. "This is the first time I've done it in a community gallery with people from the community who know the subject. So, no pressure. But they know what it's supposed to look like."
The best comment he can get while working on a portrait, he said, is "well, that looks just like him."
"That's good, because that's a portrait," Scott said.
The eyes are the trickiest to capture correctly, he said.
"The most miniscule amount of movement changes the expression completely," Scott said, demonstrating how that can be so.
Scott came to town thanks to the invitation of his long-time friend, Grace Point Church of the Nazarene Pastor Dwayne Edwards.
"I love any way I can engage in the community," Edwards said. "… He's just a great talent. Just to have him come out and be a part of this and to make some connections to the community, I just love it."
Luther Slay was the first choice for the bust, but when he was unable to come because of a family obligation, Edwards turned his sights to another long-time community leader.
"Both of them, in their own right, are legends in this community," Edwards said. "And to leave something behind that's not ever been done before, that's our heart."
The creation took roughly two hours to make from lump of clay to fully sculpted face.
Scott continued to answer questions throughout, including when his wife Hermine Stearman asked him whether he wanted more water.
"Now you want water," she said, laughing, when he asked her to refill his spray bottle to keep the clay malleable.
Multiple people would check in with Moore, too, to make sure he was comfortable enough, teasing that the sitting was easier than two-a-days in August.
"Doin' fine," was Moore's repeated reply.
Shelia Dunphy, the owner of Justice Creek Art Studio, said it meant a lot to her to be able to provide a space for an artist of Scott's talent to show that type of artwork being done in real time to the community.
"It's great to have a real artist in town and to have him in the studio," she said.
On Sunday morning, Scott took to the stage at Grace Point to again sculpt and to share a message with the congregation.
He quoted scripture about the potter and the clay while crafting a bust of Jesus Christ and asked those listening to do some introspection.
"The way Christ looks is really being shaped by us," Scott said. "The tools we use are our attitudes, our activities, our online posts, our bumper stickers, our late-night internet searches; all of that stuff is a reflection and an indication of who Christ is in our life. So, I want you to think about this. What does your Jesus look like?”