Majestic Freedom

Location: Bryan City Hall, 300 Texas Ave. Bryan TX 77803

Description: Sculpture, bronze, three deer, one buck, one doe, one fawn. 

Artist: Payne Lara

Installed: August 20, 2001

Medium: Bronze     

Dimensions: H: 6’2”, W: 9’, D: 5’  

What Is In a Name? 

From the song America the Beautiful, “Purple Mountains majesty” stands out as a particularly powerful image. Though distant and dark, America’s mountains stand supreme as they guard our nation’s treasures – the fruits of our labor, industry, and creative genius. Of course, our greatest treasure of all is our freedom, and it is our freedom that inspires the world. 

Thoughts of nature’s majesty and freedom inspired the name Majestic Freedon for the deer family sculpture commissioned for the City of Bryan. The deer stand as a family: strong and secure, peaceful, loving and free. They symbolize the greatest strengths of our nation – beauty, unity, and courage. Together, they remind us of the majesty of American freedom. 

Bryan, Texas, is forever part of the early history of Texas. Just as nature represents beauty in its purest form, let Bryan henceforth be known throughout America as home to all, which represents great tradition, great history, and great art – a community of fellowship, freedom, and beauty. 

Arrested by the Truth

When we see something beautiful, its clarity stops us in our tracks. We are mesmerized by its perfection. In fact, one may say we are arrested by the truth. Payne Lara’s sculpture, Majestic Freedom, does just that. 

Art reproaches a world beset by problems of poverty, hate, and greed. The creation of a work of art is the ultimate act of giving – it is the artist sharing emotions and feelings for the sole purpose of finding truth within himself and allowing his audience to witness and participate. Artists make our world a place in which we want to live because they create beauty. 

Our community has consciously decided to support the creative genius of artists. We believe that the energetic support of the arts will raise us above the mundane. The adornment of our lives with the cultural wealth of artists shall leave us a legacy of greatness – the greatness that is America’s freedom and our individual creativity. 

Majestic Freedom marks a turning point for historic Bryan, Texas. Let this be the first of many works of art that will express our love for truth, beauty, and freedom. 


The Breath of Life

Payne Lara is a quiet man who exudes confidence and strength. Perhaps he has chosen to represent the noble creatures of God’s paradise on earth in clay and bronze because it is in the silent strength of animals that he finds majestic beauty and freedom. 

Once Payne develops the idea for a work of art, he begins by bending cold steel rebar into shapes upon which he slowly constructs figures out of styrofoam and clay. As the figures take on more detail, he begins to envision the animals in their natural environment and creates from their clay forms expressions that resemble emotions they may have experienced in their free existence. 

Above all else, Payne sees in nature a nobility of form and freedom of movement that few of us recognize in our own lives. Therefore, it is very exciting for us to share, even for just a moment, his interpretation of nature found majestically free. 

Once the clay and styrofoam forms are somewhat finalized and pleasing to the eye, Payne begins to rubberize the forms and creates from them a wax casting. Once the wax is hardened, a cement mix is applied to make it semi-permanent and transportable for bronzing. The cementing permits the interior wax to be melted and drained out, providing the space for the liquid bronze casting process. 

Once the bronze solidifies, the artist begins work anew, chipping away the cement forms, polishing and refining the objects into the works that we all so admire. The deer seem to come alive with expression and feelings – moving us all to a state of wonderment. 

Though much of the work requires expert knowledge of the craft of sculpting, bronzing, and manufacturing, in the end, it is the artist’s vision of beauty and God’s creations that move us most. Payne Lara is an artist extraordinaire, and we are most fortunate to have a work of his art in our midst. His Majestic Freedom liberates our souls.