Benjamin Victor's latest Nevada Statue
Our wonderful Sarah Winnemucca artist, sculptor Benjamin Victor, has finished a new statue that is located in the northern part of our State. The California Trail Interpretive Center, just 8 miles west of Elko, Nevada on I-80, contracted with Benjamin to add a statue that welcomes visitors to the Center. This beautiful and life size bronze sculpture depicts a Great Basin native woman holding a woven basket and carrying an infant in a cradleboard on her back. The statue is symbolic in that it represents the Indigenous population that greeted the immigrants as they passed through northern Nevada on their way to California or Oregon.
The unveiling of his sculpture was held in mid-July and Kathy Noneman and I traveled to Elko to have a short visit with Benjamin and represent NWHP at the unveiling of his newest Nevada commission. As the photos will show, Benjamin has such a unique talent for showing movement in his statues, and although I am still partial to our Sarah Winnemucca, this sculpture, titled Our Heritage is Our Future evokes the same emotions upon viewing it as the statue of Sarah does.
A trip to this museum is well worth a visit. Not only does it have excellent interactive displays, demonstrations and classes, its theater shows a new film on the Donner Party emigrant experience that is outstanding, and the theater utilizes some three-dimensional techniques in the movie’s viewing. The museum is open 9-5 Wednesday through Sunday.
Benjamin also has a new national honor. The State of Iowa chose his sculpture of 1970 Nobel Prize Winner, agronomist Norman Borlaug, to be its second statue in our National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, DC. When it is unveiled March 25, 2014, he will be the only living sculptor to have more than one piece on display. This is quite an honor when one considers the maximum number of statues in the hall can’t exceed 100 and 2 of those hundred are his creations.
Our NWHP members feel a close bond with Benjamin, as our Sarah Winnemucca was one of his first commissions to gain him national prominence. Perhaps a March trip for NWHP members to support Benjamin’s newest national honor and revisit our own Sarah Winnemucca statue might be in order?
-Article and Photos by Patti Bernard.