After 15 Years Bronze Sculpture of Dixon Durant is Revealed - - No One Gets You Closer

After 15 Years Bronze Sculpture of Dixon Durant is Revealed


DURANT -- For 15 years the Red River Arts Council has tried to get a bronze sculpture in downtown Durant. 

"We were trying to put a sculpture up realizing it takes a lot more money than many people realize to put a full size sculpture up," says Dr. Gleny Beach the President of the Red River Arts Council.

So the arts council took the project in small steps.  

First they bought a historical base for the sculpture which has been set up in downtown Durant for more than ten years now.

Then they put up horses covered with art to raise money towards their final goal of a bronze sculpture.

"You can make progress in little steps. Many times we want the result now, we want the money now and when that's not possible then you can break it down into smaller steps and still achieve a goal," says Dr. Beach.

When it was time, they held a competition which Janie Umsted won putting her as the artist for the sculpture.

"My part was to create a piece of art work in clay and that was very difficult for me because it was so large and it took me a long, long time," says Janie, formally known as Jane Semple-Umsted, a Choctaw artist.

Finally after many years of hard work, the City of Durant was able to unveil its founding father, Dixon Durant, as a life size bronze sculpture.

''We are excited here today to unveil this new statue of our founding father Dixon Durant. Citizens are excited, we are excited for this day to finally be here," says Mayor Jerry Tomlinson of Durant.

"We have been a town for over a hundred years and we have never had a sculpture of Dixon Durant, the founder of our town," says Umsted.

"Its just a pride to our city to have something like this to go back to our history and our founding and, look to history, but look forward also," says Dr. Beach.

After the ceremony Tuesday afternoon, everyone was invited for a reception at the Three Valley Museum in Durant.

If you like to know more information about Janie Umsted, please see our earlier story posted here: