Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity to be ded­i­cated at UVU

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Just over 150 years ago, the idea of a gift to Amer­ica to cel­e­brate her lib­erty was birthed in France. That idea be­came what we now call the Statue of Lib­erty. Just imag­ine for a minute what it would have been like to have been there for the ded­i­ca­tion on Oct. 28, 1886. I would have likely been one of the women in the boats in the har­bor protest­ing that women were not al­lowed. In con­trast, a woman (Dr. Nancy O’Reilly) is the chair­man of the board for the Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity. We now have the op­por­tu­nity to be present for the ded­i­ca­tion of such a piece of his­tory.

Utah Val­ley Uni­ver­sity will ded­i­cate artist Gary Lee Price’s 15-foot pro­to­type of the Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity on April 15 at noon at the east en­trance of the Losee Cen­ter on the UVU cam­pus. The Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity is Vik­tor Frankl’s idea from his book “Man’s Search for Mean­ing” wherein he stated that, “The Statue of Lib­erty must be book-ended by a Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity, less we lose our free­doms.” Lo­cal sculp­tor Gary Lee Price is the des­ig­nated sculp­tor for this his­tor­i­cal project. Even­tu­ally, Price and the Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity Foun­da­tion hope to erect a $300 mil­lion, 300-foot­tall stain­less steel ver­sion of the statue some­where on the West Coast as a book­end na­tional mon­u­ment to the Statue of Lib­erty on the East Coast.

Price was com­mis­sioned in 1997 to de­sign the statue, choos­ing two hands each grip­ping the fore­arm of the other as the sym­bol. The artist con­ducted all of the pre-cast­ing work at UVU in 2012 on the 15-foot clay ver­sion of the statue. Once the mold of his hands-clasp­ing-hands statue was com­pleted, Price took it back to his foundry and cast a per­ma­nent statue. UVU Pres­i­dent Matthew S. Hol­land, familiar with Frankl’s book and phi­los­o­phy that lib­erty and re­spon­si­bil­ity are both com­po­nents of free­dom, was re­cep­tive from the very be­gin­ning to the idea of Price work­ing openly on the statue on UVU’s cam­pus. Price is a re­spected artist world­wide, and he knew stu­dents would ben­e­fit by see­ing him work from the ground up on an art piece that might even­tu­ally be­come part of na­tional his­tory.

On April 15 at 9:30 a.m., there will also be a FREE screen­ing of the award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary “Vik­tor and I.” This will be held in the Ra­gan Theater on the UVU cam­pus. The film’s pro­ducer, Alex Ve­sely (Vik­tor Frankl’s grand­son), will be there to meet the public and an­swer ques­tions. The public is in­vited to at­tend.

Imag­ine be­ing able to tell your great-grand­chil­dren that you were present to wit­ness the ded­i­ca­tion of the very first Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity! For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.stat­ue­ofre­spon­si­bil­ity.com.

A 15-foot ver­sion of the Statue of Re­spon­si­bil­ity will be ded­i­cated on April 15 at Utah Val­ley Uni­ver­sity. The public is in­vited to at­tend the cer­e­mony.

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