Monday, September 14, 2015

Spirit of the Rivers

Last week my friend Karen and I peeped into the windows of Skip Wallen's studio where he and his brother are working diligently on an impressive piece of public art. We sure were surprised when Skip unlocked the door and allowed to to nose around.  

Although I am not fond of the overused word "awesome" that seems to be the most appropriate description of what we saw that day.  Awe.  The photo at the left is a prototype of what will eventually be a 16 foot sculpture paying homage to the Lakeshore's early history.  I spent a long time simply looking into the emotional faces that had emerged from once stoic and unformed blocks of clay.  Skip has coaxed life from something lifeless.  The monument is scheduled to be completed in 2016.    Here's a bit of information from the Spirit of the Rivers web page -

Spirit of the Rivers is a monumental bronze sculpture group to be situated on the Lake Michigan shore between Manitowoc and Two Rivers, Wisconsin.  Celebrating the culture and history of the earliest inhabitants, the monument reminds us that people lived on this shore for countless generations before the first axe struck timber to develop our present cities.  The birch bark canoe, held aloft upon the shoulders of the portageur, stands as a tribute to the first vessels to ply these waters and foreshadows our rich maritime history.
The beauty and grandeur of Spirit of the Rivers will bring pride to area residents and attract visitors to our lakefront for generations to come. It will be a newsworthy undertaking as a collaborative public art project between the cities of Manitowoc and Two Rivers and serve as an educational resource for the communities.
For more information and additonal pictures of the work in progress go to

In celebration of the project, the Spirit of the Rivers Educational Committee is hosting author Helen Frost who will speak about the connection between the diamond willow and the monument.
October 23
Spirit of the Rivers Studio
822 Franklin Street
We have books in stock and will be at the event 
selling books with Helen.

What am I reading?  "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" -a Hemingway short story that seems so familiar that I think I read it in the recent past...or is is simply that all Hemingway mean and women share similar characteristics?