August 28, 2013

Quixotic quest for The American

In Oklahoma, Sculptor Has High Hopes for 'The American'

Native Warrior Would Tower Over Statue of Liberty; Tall Order for a Small Town

By Miguel Bustillo
Many Oklahomans remain dubious. Mr. Gray's statue proposal is well traveled at this point: He presented it to Oklahoma City early last decade, then Tulsa, but says he never found the right mixture of public support and available land before settling on Sand Springs.

"Of course it was tremendously expensive—they never did get anywhere in Oklahoma City," says J. Blake Wade, the head of a state authority building an unrelated but also high-price project, the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. The ambitious museum, expected to cost $170 million, is under way with state and private financing but remains unfinished as backers seek $40 million from the state to help complete it.

Naysayers second-guess an economic consultant's projection that 1.5 million people per year would visit "The American"—or nearly 40% of Oklahoma's entire population.

Others are simply puzzled. "What is the point of it, are you trying to attract people to a casino?" says Geoffrey Standing Bear, a legislator in the Osage Nation, which ultimately decided not to contribute $2.5 million to the project. "I thought it was a waste of our money."
Comment:  The way "The American" is looking down, this statue seems even less appealing than I remember. A half-naked Indian looking at the ground is offputting as well as stereotypical. Except for the bird, this could qualify as the most unremarkable, least interesting statue of an Indian ever.

For more on the subject, see One Small Step for American Statue and Is The American Still Feasible?


dmarks said...

Perhaps Disney could have spent $200 million on a half mile statue of an Indian with a bird on its head.

Would be no less silly than what they did at the box office earlier this summer.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know falconry was an Indian hobby. I also didn't know Indians could withstand the bird's talons. Most unintentionally hilarious statue ever.

dmarks said...

And they could have elevator rides to the top, so tourists could look out over the bleak landscape from windows in the giant crow's eyes.