She has been called the “Woman of Steel” for all the muscle she uses to transform various types of metal into magnificent works of art.
Betty Hoenshell Younger recently donated one of her latest stainless steel sculptures, “The World Connected,” to the United States Sports Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA). The shiny piece was a runner up in the sculpture category of the recent U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest, which ASAMA ran for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) for the fourth straight Olympiad.
Younger’s latest Olympic artwork has a shiny silver color. It is cylindrical, like a vase, with one ring rising out of the top. There are five rings, or circles, on the piece representing the five intertwined rings used to symbolize the Olympics. The Olympic rings stand for the five parts of the world.
The piece is now on display in ASAMA’s main gallery in Daphne, Ala.—the largest museum of sport art in the world. It sits alongside another sculpture Younger did in 2008 for the U.S. Olympic Sport and Art Contest called “Olympic Spirit,” which she also donated.
The prominent Bakersfield, Calif., artist earned a Silver Medal in the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) international art competition in 2000. Her sculpture “The Flame,” is on display at the Olympic Art Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was purchased by the late IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, for the permanent art collection of the museum.
Now in her 70s, Younger is as busy as ever finding pieces of scrap metal and molding them into art with her industrial strength welding equipment and by cutting, shaping, polishing and painting the different types of metal that include stainless steel, bronze and copper.
“I like to challenge myself. My art is a mental challenge for me. It’s stimulation,” Younger explains. “I have always loved metal. It’s the most lasting form of art.”
Her major works of steel sculptures have been done for architects, builders, businesses, cities, malls, shopping centers, museums and private homes. More than 20 of her sculptures are displayed prominently around the city of Bakersfield. She also created a permanent sculpture garden there and runs a gallery as well.
Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich says Younger’s works are brilliant. Dr. Rosandich, who sits on the IOC’s Culture and Olympic Education Commission, has been selected by the IOC to be on the jury in June for the international art contest that includes entries from more than 40 countries. The winners will be displayed at the 2012 London Games.
“Betty (Younger) is an outstanding artist and obviously a great human being,” Dr. Rosandich says. “We thank her very much for her generosity. We are ecstatic that her beautiful sculpture is now a part of our permanent collection of art.”