Obama latest presidential statue in South Dakota city
Former President Barack Obama is joining a “City of Presidents” in western South Dakota.
A life-size bronze statue of Obama was unveiled Saturday in Rapid City. The sculpture, created by artist James Van Nuys, is part of a collection of figures honoring past US presidents throughout the city’s downtown district.
But Obama’s statue is slightly different than the others.
The City of Presidents project, the private group behind the statues, initially planned to release the statue within nine months and it took them about two years. Members had planned to show Obama only standing and waving when they decided to brainstorm more ideas.
“One of us said, ‘This is boring. This is not going to have the wow factor,'” said Dallerie Davis, the group’s co-founder. “A man waving is not a showstopper.”
The new statue depicts the former President waving with one hand and holding his daughter Sasha with his other hand.
Van Nuys said the sculpture was inspired by photo that showed the father and daughter walking on a stage at Chicago’s Grant Park when Obama was first elected president.
The Obamas’ statue is the fourth sculpture he’s created for the project, CNN affiliate KOTA reported.
The sculptures, which are privately funded, have been placed through the streets of downtown Rapid City since 2000 to honor the legacy of the presidents. They are placed in a “coherent structure” to “eliminate any sense of favoritism or political gain,” according to the city’s website. It was not immediately clear where the new statue will be installed.