Meet the Chief Bemidji Statue Sculptor: Tuesday June 25, 2013

Sculptor Gareth Curtiss with clay models for Chief Bemidji statue
Sculptor Gareth Curtiss with clay models for Chief Bemidji statue

The community is invited to meet artist Gareth Curtiss at a public reception on Tuesday, June 25th, from 4-6pm at the Bemidji City Hall council chambers. 

Curtiss, from Olympia, Washington, was selected by the Chief Bemidji Statue Committee to create and fabricate a larger-than-life size bronze statue of Shaynowishkung, also known as “Chief Bemidji”.  His desire is “to produce a great work of sculpture that will be a source of pride and appreciation for (Bemidji), its visitors, and the Anishinaabe People.”

During his visit to Bemidji Curtiss will meet to discuss design development ideas with the Leech Lake descendants of Shaynowishkung, other committee members and city officials; will learn of the committee’s research on Shaynowishkung and the time period in which he lived; and will review plans for the statue platform and site.

Working in the tradition of the old masters, Gareth Curtiss creates monuments and memorials for our time.  His career has spanned nearly thirty years and he is recognized by his contemporaries as a master sculptor and foundry-man.  Figurative sculpture is his specialty, including all aspects of large scale bronze casting and fabrication, including welding, patina and mold making.  Past commissions include a life size bronze statue of Chief Black Hawk for the Aurora Public Schools in Aurora, IL.

Curtiss’ work on the statue of Shaynowishkung will take a year to complete, and will be installed next May in Library Park.  At that time, the committee will host an unveiling and dedication of the statue.

Contact:  Carolyn Jacobs, 218-766-9880