“The Fallen Soldier” Sculpture by Richard Rist by: J. Sherrod Taylor
The Fallen Soldier, also known as “The Heart of a Patriot,” is dedicated to the memory of Sergeant Ian Christian Anderson (January 8, 1985 - January 15, 2007) who was killed in action by a roadside bomb in Mosul, Iraq, while supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was twenty-two years old.
“The Fallen Soldier” Sculpture by Richard Rist 7700 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS
Sergeant Anderson, who grew up in Prairie Village, was a member of the 2d Battalion, 7th U.S. Cavalry, an Army Unit headquartered at Fort Bliss, Texas. At the time of the fatal explosion, he was on his second tour of duty in the Middle East.
Anderson’s wife, Suzanne, also served in the same military unit. According to the Washington Post, before leaving for Iraq, the Andersons entrusted their 3-year-old daughter, Lilian, to Suzanne’s parents for their scheduled one-year deployment period.
Sergeant Anderson attended Shawnee Mission East High School before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 2003. He was a member of the Bethany Lutheran Church. During his leisure time, he enjoyed playing soccer, caring for wildlife, and being outdoors with his family. An accomplished ‘computer gamer,’ Anderson had planned to later pursue a career in computer technology.
The Fallen Soldier sculpture was designed by Baltimore artist Richard Rist, a U.S. Navy veteran, whose studio, The Large Art Company, specializes in creating public art for families that have lost loved ones during wartime. Standing approximately forty-five inches high and resting upon a flat concrete pad, the impressive sculpture, which is cast in high-quality bronze, features boots, a rifle, and a helmet arranged as a traditional ‘Battlefield Cross.’ A handsome bronze plaque, attached to this artwork, confirms that Sergeant Anderson was awarded both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart medals for his heroism.
The Fallen Soldier was donated by Sergeant Anderson’s family and dedicated in 2015. Anderson’s wife Suzanne and daughter Lily attended the ceremony. Sergeant Anderson’s father John, mother Elaine, and sister Ellen, joined Suzanne’s parents Debbie and Terry Mason for the event commemorating Anderson’s service and recognizing other fallen soldiers from our community.
The Fallen Soldier is an excellent example of public art that enriches our knowledge of history and enhances our appreciation of the sacrifices made by fellow citizens to protect our freedom.
Located on the Prairie Village Municipal Grounds 7700 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS
"Aurora III, The Spirit of Prairie Village" Sculpture by Tom Corbin By Jessie Cartwright
Aurora III, The Spirit of Prairie Village Located on the Prairie Village Municipal Center Grounds 7700 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS
A work of art translates ideas into images and symbols that can engage our visual curiosity and connection. Though our interpretations and experiences vary, certain works of art have the beauty and power to connect us all. In the garden of the Prairie Village Municipal Building, you will discover a bronze sculpture that encompasses all of the above, created by local sculptor Tom Corbin.
Aurora III, part of Corbin’s signature Aurora series of bronze cast sculptures, portrays an elongated female figure, approximately 6 feet tall, with brown and verdigris patina. She is barefoot and youthfully carefree, seemingly in motion as her arms reach upward, face raised, eyes focused on a dove at the instant of flight from her hand.
Yet, Aurora III transcends a captured moment in time to express timeless universal themes. Corbin explains, “Aurora III is a sculptural metaphor for hope, peace and the human spirit. The young girl embodies a youthful optimism while her pose, releasing a dove, is literally uplifting. In a world that often embellishes the negative, this sculpture will hopefully provide some solace in contemplating the positive side of the human race.” Originally commissioned by the Prairie Village Foundation to honor Barbara Vernon’s remarkable devotion and service of 30 years as City Administrator in 2008, Aurora III represents “The Spirit of Prairie Village.” Aurora III is locally historical and globally contemporary. While we celebrate the life of one individual, we are all a part of Aurora III’s hope for the future.
Tom Corbin knows a little about hope for the future. Since the 1980s, he has built an extensive portfolio of personal, public and corporate collections and installations as an established master of bronze sculptures and furniture. Corbin’s stylized, elongated figures, reminiscent of Giacometti, reveal his extraordinary skill in the colors of patina that alter light and shade on textured surfaces.
Several notable, local commissions include the Kansas City Firefighters Memorial, and sculptures in the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden and Foundation. Most recently, Corbin was commissioned to create a bronze monument of Harry S. Truman for the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. Though he has achieved national and international acclaim, Tom Corbin’s studio, gallery and midwest charm remain local. You can find his compelling work at corbinbronze.com.
The Prairie Village Public Art Series of articles is being developed by the Arts Council to describe and highlight the wonderful public art in Prairie Village. Our Prairie Village Art Walk so far includes the following:
"Prairie Boy" sculpture by Richard Lumpkin 7700 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS
Prairie Evolution by Matthew Dehaemers (article coming soon) 82nd and Mission, Corinth Square Entrance
Your Prairie Village Arts Council is always looking for new ways to promote the art all around us through visual art, performance art and expression. Please watch here for future installments and contact us with your suggestions or recommendations.
"Fluid Form" Sculpture by Jacob Burmood By Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
The Prairie Village Public Art Series of articles is being developed by the Arts Council to describe and highlight the wonderful public art in Prairie Village. To see the first installment, click here. Please watch here for future installments.
A sea animal. A woman dancing. Swirling curlicues.
These are just a few of the descriptions given by shoppers walking past the striking silver sculpture between the Hen House and the Tavern in the Shops of Prairie Village. None of these descriptions mentioned a creek's path in the woods, which sculptor Jacob Burmood says originally inspired his artwork. But that's OK with him. According to Burmood, his works can be described as abstractions “of the fluid nature of the universe.”
While the sculpture, “Fluid Form,” may be difficult to describe, it can accurately be called the "People's Choice" of Prairie Village. It was selected by our residents through a popular vote held in June 2017. Once selected, the 1,000-pound cold cast aluminum sculpture which measures 10’ by 4’ x 5’ was installed in its current location and dedicated on Friday Dec. 15, 2017. The work was generously funded by the shopping center owner, First Washington Realty.
Sculptor Jacob Burmood has been sculpting professionally since 1999. A native of Springfield, MO, he is currently an art teacher at Johnson County Community College and has previously taught in the Sculpture Department at Missouri State University, Springfield, MO. Burmood earned a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Kansas and Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Missouri State University. Leopold Gallery owner Paul Dorrell, calls Burmood “a brilliant sculptor” and “one of the finest artists I’ve ever worked with.” Burmood has won commissions across the country, with pieces installed from California to Texas to Tennessee. Locally his work can be seen at KU Medical’s Indian Creek Campus in Overland Park and downtown Olathe. One of Burmood’s recent works at Arrowhead Stadium is an abstract interpretation of the human body inspired by the shape of a football. He’s currently working on a massive piece for the City of Lawrence. It remains to be seen if it, too, will evoke feelings of a dancer or sea creature from passersby.