Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Keepers of the Plains


Some of you saw a Keeper of the Plains I showed during a T Stands For Tuesday post a couple of weeks ago. 

This is the actual Keeper as it is lit by a ring of fire (a nightly event).  It was created by Blackbear Bozen, a Native American, in 1974 and placed at the confluence of the Big Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers.  

It is a large (44 feet/13,41meter) metal (steel) sculpture.


Back in 2014, there was a contest in which artists were juried.  At the time, I thought there were to be 10 Keepers.  I've since learned there are currently 19, but 25 were originally ordered.  According to Together Wichita:
Keepers on Parade is a public art project proudly brought to you by Together Wichita. Ten feet tall fiberglass Keeper of the Plains replicas were painted, adorned and magically transformed by local artists.
This is what they looked like before anything was added.

I also learned they are all around town.

This is the first Keeper I found.  I took this photo from the car as we were leaving the zoo in November, 2016.  Not the best picture, but I had to rush because they had just unloaded it.

This is the second Keeper I found.  I stumbled onto it accidentally.

The rest I found on the web.  As I find them in real life, I will update my blog.  Until then, these are the ones I've found on the web.

This one sits on the campus of Friends University.

These were on display at the Indian Museum


before being placed around town.

This one was a progress report on a zentangle blog.  The woman was creating zentangles on the Keeper, but the blogger didn't give the artist's name or anything about her.

I was unable to download the ones from Together Wichita, so if you want to see them you will have to go here.

Thanks for joining me today as I take a break from the Cosmosphere photos.  They have begun to get a bit overwhelming and they don't seem to create much interest for the incredible amount of time I spend documenting them.

12 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

I love these 'keeper of the Plains', they are all beautiful. The lit up one looks fantastic. And it must take a long time to cover one with zentangles!
Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

CJ Kennedy said...

I love the Keeper of the Plains. One thing that I love about a project like this is how everyone is given the same thing to work on and how each artist transforms it differently. Will be fun to find the statues around town.

My name is Erika. said...

Those are super cool. The original statue looks amazing at night with the lights on it, and the others are really special. Better than the pigs I saw someplace. Nothing against pigs mind you. I like how they mean something and have a wonderful meaning to the Native Americans who really were the keepers of the plains for many years. Nice post. I enjoyed seeing these great pieces of art. Hugs-Erika

Jeanie said...

Wow, so many fabulous keepers. I especially love the colorful ones but they're all beautiful and in such wonderful environments. Years ago our TV station did something similar on a very small scale -- artists were given identical chairs (and then another year tables, another boxes) to decorate. The chairs started as simple wooden school chairs but they evolved into so much more. I really admire the remarkable artists and these seem to really fit the area in which you live. A wonderful idea.

On another note, I really loved your comment on my dad post with the ham radio. How fun to have built your own as a child. Your relationship with your grandpa was so special. I can just "see" it.

kathyinozarks said...

I love these-thanks

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh wow.. all those Keepers Of The Plains are fabulous!
Thanks so much for sharing!
You are right to spent not too much time with the photos -
that's so time comsuming - I can understand this so well!
oxo Susi

Meggymay said...

Wow that must be an awesome sight to see the flames around the Keeper.
All your photos looked great, but I am wondering how long it must have taken the artist to cover one in zentangles. A true labour for the love of art.
Yvonne xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

This looks like an amazing project! The Keeper of the Plains is such an interesting sculpture! We have seen projects in several towns here involving sheep, cows, bananas and more! I think some of them are decorated by schools or businesses! Hugs, Chrisx

Nancy said...

Wonderful community project. I cannot imagine the time and very close work of completing the zentangled Keeper. Creativity galore!

Cindy McMath said...

Very cool to see these - especially the original with the night time light up - wow! We had a similar art project in my city - it was whales. Some of them are still around town - others were auctioned off I believe. I love seeing how different artists approach these.

Divers and Sundry said...

Fascinating! Finding them in real life will be such a delight :)

back2brack said...

These are so great! Thank you for sharing. I especially like the night time shot, and the grouping. All beautiful! I live the description keeper of the plains. Now if we can all realize that we are keeper of this planet, their call will be heard. Thank you again Elizabeth fowr open my eyes. To something different. Xo