| Art |

Whitney Hendrickson tribute: Sculptor unveils memorial dedicated to widely mourned teen

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Two years ago, I wrote about the tragic death of eighteen-year-old Whitney deMoraes Hendrickson, who died in a freak accident caused by a reckless driver at a gas pump in Colorado Springs, and the remarkable tributes to her short but eventful life that followed. Now one local artist, moved by what he's learned about her and her family, has created a memorial for Whitney that will outlive all who mourn her.

On Saturday, friends and family gathered in the Victorian gardens of Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs -- where, fittingly enough, Whitney had her first summer job. There Whitney's parents, David and Clelia Hendrickson, and her siblings, Wesley and Marina, unveiled a bronze by Green Mountain Falls sculptor Scott Stearman, who had sought out the family and offered to do the piece after hearing of the girl's death.

"I didn't know them," Stearman told the crowd. "But as a member of the community, my heart broke for them. It was frustrating, because I wanted to help but I didn't know how."

Drawing on photos of Whitney and modeling by her sister, Stearman caught his subject in a characteristic pose, in flight -- she and her friends often snapped pictures of each other leaping in the air. The work is mounted on marble from Marble, Colorado, and will be a permanent addition to the remembrance gardens at Miramont -- a perfect setting for a tribute to a spirit that reveled in sunshine and blue skies and towering mountains.

See photos below. For more on Whitney and her parents, whom I've known since my college days, go here and here.

More from our News archive: "On a dark day, celebrating a good life."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.