NSU Displays Work of World-Renowned Sculptor

Community members joined NSU students, faculty, and staff on Beta Field on August 31 to witness the unveiling of a monument by world-famous Dutch sculptor Francis Jansen, titled "Transformation Through Forgiveness."

The 15-foot, 12,000 pound bronze statue, affectionately known to its creator as "Eagle Man,"will remain on Beta Field for the next year. This is the monument's third stop on a worldwide tour that will take it to various cities, universities, and parks.

Responding to "man's inhumanity to man," Jansen designed the sculpture

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as a tribute to the healing power of love and forgiveness. The work consists of a Native American figure with an eagle perched on his head as he stands upon the back of a turtle. The name of each location on the tour, along with a special message, will be engraved on the statue's back.

The unveiling ceremony, co-sponsored by the NSU Center for Tribal Studies and the College of Arts and Letters, included Tonya Still, a Northeastern student and the reigning Miss Indian Oklahoma, who played the flute. Crosslin Smith, a Cherokee medicine man, also performed a traditional Cherokee blessing of the monument.

At a reception following the ceremony, the public had a chance to speak with the artist and other representatives of the Transformation Through Forgiveness Foundation. This non-profit foundation's purpose is to "stimulate, educate, generate, and further enhance community for forgiveness."

Jansen's work comes to Tahlequah after spending a year at the Southern Oregon University campus in Ashland, Oregon.

According to Dr. Mary Ellen Fleeger, executive vice president of SOU, "The statue made a significant contribution to this campus. As soon as it was unveiled, it assumed a place of great importance in the hearts of the students, faculty, and staff. Like NSU, SOU has a high Native American population. It also has significant representation from Pacific Rim countries. This monument served as a bonding place for individuals representing the diverse constituencies on the campus and in Ashland. We loved having it here."

For more information, contact the NSU College of Arts and Letters at 918-456-5511, ext. 3600.  

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