Honoring the heroes of our American military, historical figures, civic leaders and athletes through life-like, realistic bronze sculpture. My sculptures are a reflection of my love for the past and my appreciation for the present.
About my art
As a commissioned bronze sculptor it is my goal to capture the essence of the individual, through the strength, passion, and determination of heroic individuals as well as the people of everyday life. The challenge of interpreting and composing figures and bringing them to life as a bronze sculpture has been a rewarding experience.
My military sculptures are a representation of the bravery, courage and dedication of the men and women who serve and have served our country. It is an honor to create a memorial to show respect and appreciation to those who have sacrificed so much. My sculptures are also meant to bring people together to share stories of those who have served, and to remember the many who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It is a way for us to reflect and to never forget.
I have been sculpting and casting in bronze for 25 years and have permanently installed close to sixty outdoor monuments for public and private collections throughout the contiguous United States. Many of the sculptural projects I’m involved in revolve around honoring the military. However I also create bronze sculptures of historical figures, civic leaders and athletes. I have an active relationship with several fine art bronze foundries and have designed outdoor plazas and landscapes for outdoor monuments.
The memory of my late father, a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam war, has been the driving force behind my passion for creating military sculptures. When I collaborated with him to make my first military sculpture, I gained a newfound appreciation for his tireless and passionate work to provide veterans and their families with benefits and his dedication to their well being. Because of my fathers passion and service to others, creating military themed sculptures has been a labor of love to keep his memory alive.
From a young age, Sutton was inspired by the drawings of his artist uncle Steve Dana and honed his skills while studying them. This early interest in drawing led to his enrollment in the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 1995.
At AAU, Sutton studied figure painting, drawing, sculpture, and human anatomy under renowned teachers such as Barbara Bradley, Chuck Pyle, Craig Nelson, and others. He also attended daily three-hour drawing workshops. During his third year, he submitted his portfolio to Disney’s annual animation boot camp program in the hopes of being recruited; however, after further review by Disney animators in Los Angeles and Orlando, he did not land a job.
This then led Sutton to finding work in a small animation studio in the north SF Bay Area, where he drew hundreds of “clean-up” sketches until computer animation began replacing traditional methods in the late 1990s. This shift towards computers caused Sutton to reconsider his direction as an artist.
Finding a passion for sculpture
Betti pulled together a few sculptures he’d created while a student at the Academy and applied for work with sculptor Mario Chiodo in the East Bay Area of San Francisco. Creating sculptures for Las Vegas casinos as well as halloween masks Betti became fascinated by large scale sculpture. He learned to quickly and accurately sculpt various facial expressions, wrinkles and hair, techniques he learned under Mario are still applied today. He sculpted masks of politicians, monsters and large sculptures of musicians and jesters. This experience motivated him to pursue large-scale sculpture as his new interest.
Passion for large scale sculpture
Inspired by trips to Italy to study Michelangelo and Bernini, Betti spent five years living and working in a one-car garage honing his craft. During this time he produced over 100 clay sculptures. Sponsored by Danielle Anjou, he then worked in Pietrasanta, Italy to learn stone carving techniques used by master Italian craftsmen, many of whom were about to retire with few apprentices to continue their traditions. This experience helped Betti to grow as an artist and gain a deeper appreciation for old stone carving techniques and European sculpture.
He continued work as a freelance sculptor and began working in the mannequin industry creating realistic and athletic bodies for corporate clients in the US and Germany. But it was after moving to Colorado and working as a sculptors assistant to the sculptor Dee Clements that inspired him to start his own business. The thorough experience working for Clements enabled him to develop an understanding of studio management, bronze casting processes and client relationships. Sutton found this experience to be the missing piece of the puzzle and was confident enough in his skills to start his own sculpture company.
In 2009, Sutton unveiled his first outdoor monumental bronze sculpture, “Puddler’s Break” as a tribute to the workers of Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nevada. This large-scale public art installation provided the impetus for him to pursue creating outdoor bronze monuments on his own. He has since permanently installed sculptures across the country.
The artist maintains an active sculpture studio in the vibrant sculpture community of Loveland, Colorado.