IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - There are so many talented people in our area. It is especially impressive when they donate their talents without getting paid for it. Local artist Davidjohn Stosich is one such person.
Stosich is currently putting the finishing touches on a work for the local chapter of The Sons of the Utah Pioneers that depicts East Idaho pioneers who settled Iona.
"It's very easy for us in this day and age to forget the work and the sacrifice made by our predecessors in getting this far," says Don Hayes, local chapter president of the organization.
It was June of 1884 that a discouraged band of early settlers were visited by LDS church president Wilford Woodruff. The weather was harsh and about all that was growing on the land was sagebrush, but as they listened from a wagon box, President Woodruff told them to take heart because God would bless the land, and they would soon have a prosperous settlement. Stosich has immense respect for those pioneers.
"They had nothing to gain but to improve society," Stosich says. "They built canals, they built roads, they fenced, they protected themselves. They were very neighborly - anybody that needed help, they would show up."
In order to make his work as realistic as possible Stosich studies the lives of each of the people represented.
"Each of them have a great personality, and to have studied them as I work here, and read what they've done I feel so diminished, in my own right knowing there are great people that have come ahead of me," Stosich says.
Many of the figures still need finishing touches. When his clay sculpting is complete, the figures will be cast in bronze. The work will be mounted in such a way that it can be a traveling exhibit. The sons of the Utah pioneers want as many people as possible to enjoy and appreciate it. Stosich may not get paid in money for the project, but what he does receive is more valuable.
"I think it's a joy to come lose yourself, not worry about how much time or money it is," Stosich says. "It's an act of service. I think it shapes one's soul to not feel like there has to be some reward somewhere, that you're giving back."