My name is Stella Singleton-Jones and my art career started when I was in the 8th grade at John Burroughs Jr. High, when my teacher, Mr. Shapiro entered my plaster sculpture into an overall art completion, which I won first placed. The prize was an internship program at Otis Art Institution. So from 1974 - 1976 I would go to Otis Art Institution in the early evening after school and on Saturday's days for the next two years.
When it was time for me to graduate from John Burroughs Jr. High, Otis Art Institution recommended me to attend Santa Monica High School, because they had the best art department in the state. So I attended Santa Monica High that fall of 1976, where my career took on a new meaning because I was exposed to painting, and drawing. Unfortunately, the drawing instructor there, she and I did not see eye to eye. I wanted to draw abstractly, but she wanted me to draw like a picture. So this mishap ended my career as a drawer. I later went on graduate from Santa Monica High School and went on to Santa Monica Jr. College to expand my art career.
Needless to say, I planted my foot down at Santa Monica Jr. College and discovered my true talent in the art world would be as an abstract sculptress in stone sculptures. My stone sculpture career started to blossom throughout the early 80's and then came crashing down in a spiral effect in the later 80's, due to the death of my brother Derek Singleton, he was my number one supporter in my art world, as well as my parents, unfortunately I stopped my art career in stone sculpturing. Consequently, I took a 20 years break from the art world, never letting any of my co-workers/current friends to have any indignation of my past worth in the art world.
Life is funny and takes on some strange journeys, but on January 16, 1996 I was stricken down with Spinal Meningitis, which left me in a coma for two and a half weeks, and I remember when I had awoken up, I could not move my legs and could not form my words to speak. I had to endure 6 months to several years of physical therapy. And every time I would go out into the public I would become ill and had to endure a lot of medicines and steroids, I had made up my mind, this is it and I will not go outside again, unless it was to go to a doctor's appointment. My doctor at that time was Dr. Gorniswky and when I stated my overall outcome position. He faced me and stared dead into my eyes and said HOW DARE you give up on life, then shouted at me and said with a firm voice, then you should go back to school for physical therapy and interact with others
I was not quite sure how to handle my doctor's disappointment, but I did considered Dr. Gorniswky's recommendation to attend school, I remember my study in college was the arts. So I got down on my knees at home and said to God if this is what you want me to endure, then the art world I will give my all, as long as I am able to inspire others not to give up on their dreams, and yes life is strange how things work out, but with strength and determination any career is possible
In resuming my art career in 2007, I am proud to say, I have accomplished something in my wildest dreams, which can never be taken away from me in this life, that my stone sculpture which I created in April 2009 is now in the White House sitting on a desk inside the Oval Office called (UNITY).
What a blessing and a dream come true!!!!