Bronze immortalizes Julianna’s loves

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Julianna Stark loved to read.

“She was a voracious reader,” said Susan Stark, her mother. “From an early age, she was never without a stack of books, and she went to the library twice a week.”

In 1996, Julianna moved from Denver to Tarrant County to work for Burlington Northern Santa Fe. One of the hard parts of moving was leaving the library she loved in Denver, her mother said. But Julianna found a new love in Colleyville when a niece, Lauren was born.

“From the time Lauren was an infant, Julianna loved to read to her,” Susan Stark said.

Julianna and Lauren made weekly trips to the Colleyville library from the time Lauren was four until Julianna died in April 2011 at the age of 56 from a heart condition.

“They would sit in the same corner of the children’s area and she would read to Lauren,” Susan Stark said.

Sitting in her aunt’s lap “made me feel important and special,” Lauren said. “I miss her a lot. I love reading because of her.”

Julianna and Lauren’s relationship has been immortalized with a bronze statue at the Colleyville library. Susan Stark said she wanted a memorial for her daughter. She commissioned Susie Chisholm, a Georgia sculptor to create a maquette — a small piece normally done in preparation for sculpting a larger one.

“I decided to have a sculpture made,” Stark said. “My son said to put it in the Colleyville library because this is where they went every week for years.”

When it came time to name the piece, Stark said it was obvious. She called it Julianna’s Two Loves.

Chisholm said she understood Stark’s decision as soon as she heard it.

“When my children were young, it was always a special treat to go to this wonderful local book store here in Savannah and curl up on the floor reading through the books until we found just the right one to take home,” she said. “This is the same feeling I have about this sculpture. It is a very special quiet moment between two very special people.”

Julianna’s Two Loves is the first sculpture donated to the Colleyville Library, said Mary Rodne, the library’s director. But she hopes it isn’t the last.

David Wiegand, a promoter who introduced Susan Stark to sculptor Susie Chisholm, will bring a sculpture exhibit to Colleyville in August, Rodne said.

“It won’t be permanent,” she said. “But we’re hoping that other people will donate pieces because a library promotes cultural things and it’s a good place to display works of art.”

Terry Evans, 817-390-7620 Twitter: @fwstevans

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