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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421
Contact(s):Charlie Staggs, Stadium Manager
Gary Smith, Chairman
War Memorial Stadium Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Monday, May 5, 2008
Stars & Stripes Sculpture Being Constructed At War Memorial Stadium for 60th Anniversary
LITTLE ROCK, AR. (May 5, 2008) – Ground was broken today at War Memorial Stadium for a 25-foot tall sculpture entitled “Stars and Stripes.” The sculpture, honoring Arkansas veterans, will be dedicated on Friday, September 5 as part of the stadium’s 60th anniversary celebration.
The project is created by the War Memorial Stadium Improvement Trust. Funding for the $500,000 project was provided by the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust.
The artist creating the sculpture is Kathleen Caricof of Loveland, Colorado. She was selected after a review of several proposals. A member of the National Sculptors’ Guild, Caricof won best of show at the 2007 Sculpture at the River Market Invitational in Little Rock. She has completed placements for the University of Denver, the cities of Long Beach and Burbank and Cerritos, California, Central Missouri State University, Pfieffer and Hamilton Publishers in Duluth, MN, and for numerous other organizations.
Stadium Commission Chairman Gary Smith of Little Rock feels the sculpture is an appropriate means for commemorating the anniversary.
“We wanted to recognize this milestone anniversary by honoring our veterans for whom the stadium was dedicated and named. Fortunately, the Sturgis Trust officials were impressed by our plans and agreed to fund it. We are indebted to them for making this possible,” Smith said.
The sculpture will be located at the main entrance to the stadium’s west side, on the corner of Fair Park and Stadium Drive. It will sit on a granite circle that is 40 feet in diameter. In the center will be five columns from which five granite stars – each representing a branch of the military -- are hoisted into the air. The area surrounding the sculpture will be landscaped to form a plaza-like area that will be called Veteran’s Plaza. The sculpture will be lit at night, establishing a patriotic entrance into the stadium area.
Mayor Mark Stodola, who participated in today’s groundbreaking, said, “While serving as a fitting and elegant entrance into the stadium, the sculpture also serves as an outstanding feature for the entire War Memorial Park area. We appreciate War Memorial Stadium officials for their foresight in planning this structure and are grateful to the Sturgis Trust for making it possible.”
Cindy Miller, Arkansas consultant to the Sturgis Trust, noted that the project was “right and fitting.”
“The Sturgis Trust is pleased to honor Arkansas veterans and commemorate the 60-year anniversary of a stadium that is a part of Arkansas heritage,” Miller said.
Smith said the sculpture depicts the stadium’s legacy.
“I can think of no better way to celebrate a 60-year birthday of a stadium than by honoring our past and providing a structure for generation after generation of Arkansans to enjoy in the future,” Smith concluded.
War Memorial Stadium was dedicated on September 18, 1948 when the Arkansas Razorbacks defeated Abilene Christian 40-6. The 60-year anniversary will be observed on Saturday, September 6, when Arkansas hosts Lousiana-Monroe in a game. The stadium will be re-dedicated to veterans who have served our country.
In addition to Smith, other War Memorial Stadium Commissioners include Brenda Scisson, Kevin Crass, Donald Cook and Nancy Monroe, all of Little Rock, Charlie Holt of Stuttgart, Perry Henley of Hope and Dorance Damron of Fort Smith. Commissioners are appointed by the governor and serve seven-year terms. Charlie Staggs is general manager of War Memorial Stadium.
The Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Education Trust operates in memory of Roy and Christine Sturgis and has provided support to many educational, charitable and non-profit endeavors in the state.