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Cerritos Adds Another Piece to the Its Sculpture Garden

By Brian Hews

In August of 2019, Los Cerritos Community News reported the bronze sculpture in front of Extra Space Storage in Cerritos entitled Strength of the Maker was stolen; the sculpture had been in that spot for over 20 years. 

John Grant, a Cerritos resident who uses Cerritos Storage reported the theft to LCCN and was very disappointed and angered about the theft.

The sculpture is an icon to us here in Cerritos, it will be missed,” said Grant

“It looks like, from the markings around the base, that they pulled up a truck, pulled the sculpture down and took it,” a spokesperson for the Cerritos Sheriff’s told LCCN.

The sculpture was valued at $34,000.

If area residents are missing the sculpture they can now find it at the Cerritos Sculpture Garden. Cerritos recently acquired and installed the Strength of the Maker art piece in the Garden. 

Cerritos purchased a new statue using funds paid by Extra Space Storage as part of a settlement offer for the storage company’s “failure to maintain and prevent the original art piece from being removed.”

 Strength of the Maker was created by Colorado artist Denny Haskew and depicts a Native American man bending a bow across his back. 

The bronze sculpture is meant to represent the strength of a higher power that created nature and man. 

It measures 60 inches high and 60 inches wide including the bow.

Haskew, a member of the Potawatomi citizen nation, is known for creating art that reflects the Native American and southwestern culture. 

His work has been described as intensely personal and honest, reflecting recurring themes of spirit, love, forgiveness, healing, endurance and strength. Haskew has another piece, “Luminaire,” located at the Transpacific Development Company office building in the Cerritos Towne Center.

In creating the piece, Haskew, a member of the National Sculptors Guild, states, “Strength of the Maker right from its title…to the strength shown even in the toes, is a statement of how I view my very inner belief. Nature and all things natural have always been of the utmost importance to me all my life. Believing in a God, the Great Spirit, Buddha, Mohammed, the Mysterious One and any other beings of greatness is important. I feel they all exude the same message, a life of oneness, of love, of honesty and a source of emotional strength. ‘Strength of the Maker’ is my visual version of how I see my Maker.”

A limited edition of the “Strength of the Maker” sculpture has been selected for permanent display in the Native American Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. It has won five best of show or first place prizes in the top art shows in the country.