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Legacy Committee Meeting Minutes
Attendees: Hal Stearns, Jack Lepley, Arnie Olsen, Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright
October 31, 2002
The Legacy Committee met at the Commission office to discuss ideas related to a Commission sanctioned Legacy project. The following ideas were presented for consideration.
Arnie Olsen presented three possible projects:
1. Senator Duane Grimes’ desire to see a mural installed in the Senate Chamber in the Capitol.
2. A bronze sculpture that somehow blended the two cultures, an idea based on the Confluence of Cultures symposium theme. He suggested a canoe that depicted L&C in one end and Native Americans in the other.
3. A massive peace medal incorporating the Commission’s logo. Small reproductions could be sold.
Jack Lepley proposed:
1. A marble or granite tablet in the shape of the Commission’s tipi logo, with the “people” image from the license plate carved in bas relief. The people would be in life or heroic size. A limited number of small castings could be offered for sale. He proposed locating the sculpture at the Capitol or the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. Several possible artists were discussed.
The committee discussed the need to include a time capsule with the unveiling of a ‘legacy’ project. They felt that the project must be completed within the window of the Bicentennial, between Fall 2004 and late 2006. The Legislature would be asked to sanction the project as the official state “Bicentennial Commemorative” piece.
As the committee continued to discuss ideas, the concept of a mural for the Senate Chamber and Jack’s idea of a stone bas relief came together. The group settled on the idea of a stone bas relief for the Senate Chambers, depicting members of the Expedition meeting representative members of Montana’s tribes. The piece could be done in either ½ or ¾-size and limited edition marquettes could be marketed. The group felt there would be a strong market for reproductions to past and present state senators as well as to the general public during and long after the Bicentennial.
The group discussed the process for selecting an artist, determining costs, and a reasonable timeline for producing the artwork. Arnie suggested talking with Bob Morgan and Dick Duffy to obtain a short list of qualified artists. He said the committee could incorporate the selection process utilized by the Society in selecting an artist for the Mansfield sculpture. Possibly Bob Morgan could produce a rendering for presentation to the Commission in February.
Arnie agreed to follow up with Senator Grimes to address legislation that would allow for this type of art medium for the Senate Chamber, and to authorize private fundraising for the project. He will also copy the Committee on the paper already produced for Senator Grimes. The committee would need Senate concurrence on the project prior to proceeding. Arnie also offered to provide a photo of the Senate Chamber and possibly obtain measurements of the area where the sculpture would be displayed. He will ask Museum staff to research examples of bas relief art to be provided to the Commission.
Clint suggested producing a draft outline and process, to include cost estimates. He said Legacy Campaign funds could be used for the project. Regarding payment of artists, Jack Lepley said it was his experience that the production costs were paid as incurred, but the artist’s commission was not paid until the piece was completed. Reproductions are generally produced on demand with half-down and the remainder paid upon delivery.
The group agreed that Native American consultation was essential. Jack Lepley suggested soliciting Native American artists, and said he has the name of an artist trained under Bob Scriver.
The timeline was discussed and the committee agreed that April 2005 was the soonest the project could be completed; possibly early 2007 was a more realistic timeframe, depending on the chosen artist.
The topic will be on the Commission’s February agenda and members of the Commission would be able to visit the Senate Chamber for a first hand look at the proposed location for the artwork. Hal suggested polling the Commission with the concept prior to the meeting as some of the ground work needed to be completed prior to the February meeting.
It was agreed that that concept of creating a “Confluence of Cultures” stone bas relief to be placed in the Montana Senate Chambers was the committee’s clear choice. It was further agreed that the remaining commissioners be polled in the immediate future prior to the February 2003 meeting to gain a consensus of opinion prior to visiting in any significant detail with Senator Grimes.
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