Public Art - Sculptures
Public Art - Sculpture Program
With funding from a voter approved Transient Guest Tax, the City of Liberty and the Liberty Arts Commission (LAC) have developed an rotating sculpture program that brings in new original, three-dimensional works of art into historic downtown Liberty each year. Started in 2017, the program has expanded from one sculpture in 2017 to nine in 2019 (coming this fall).
Each year, the LAC can purchase one of these sculptures to add to the City's public art collection throughout the community. The first purchased sculpture, Jacob Burmood's Plumb Twisted, has installed in front of the Liberty Community Center. In 2018, the LAC purchased Matthew Duffy's Open Heart, which will be relocated near the Withers Road entrance to the Westboro/Canterbury Greenway in 2019.
China Slaughter Reading Park Sculpture
Dedicated on April 26, 2018, the bronze sculpture of Lawrence "China" Slaughter and two children sits across from Franklin Elementary School, where he served as a beloved crossing guard for many years. Slaughter served Liberty Public Schools for 47 years, as a custodian of Garrison School, crossing guard and finally as supervisor of custodians for the entire school district.
Slaughter grew up in Liberty and returned after graduating from college in Indiana. He held a teaching degree and certificate in Missouri and taught for the state of Missouri.
The Liberty Arts Foundation raised $62,000 to commission this statue of Slaughter.
Location: Corner of Mill and Gallatin streets
The Great Americans Project
Former Liberty Mayor Greg Canuteson initiated The Great Americans Project to celebrate and honor men and women in American history. Through private fundraising, the project has brought two life-sized bronze statues to historic downtown since 2013. The Great Americans Project Board of Directors plans to continue introducing more sculptures in the coming years.
If you'd like to see these incredible statues in person, all are located within walking distance of each other!
The first Great Americans Project statue was unveiled in June 2013. The life-size bronze sculpture of George Washington stands proudly atop a pedestal, pointing the way to William Jewell College.
Location: Corner of Mill and Lightburne streets
The second Great American statue, a life-size bronze sculpture of literary icon and Missouri Native, Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, was unveiled in 2016.
Location: Corner of Kansas and Missouri streets
Susan B. Anthony
The statue of suffragette Susan B. Anthony was unveiled on July 3, 2019 on the 100th anniversary of the State of Missouri's ratification of the 19th amendment. The Missouri Governor signed a resolution ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on July 3, 1919. By August 1920, 36 states had ratified the amendment giving women the right to vote.
Location: Corner of Kansas and Water streets
The Liberty Arts Commission installed three kinetic sculptures in 2013. The sculptures were created by internationally known artist Lyman Whitaker, whose work is also found in California, Florida and abroad. The organic forms of each unique piece are sculpted in metal that is designed to patina over time and move gently in the wind.
Funding for the project was raised through donations from individuals, local businesses, and the developers of the Liberty Triangle shopping center with the assistance of the Liberty Arts Foundation.
Location: In the centers of the two roundabouts on College Street between Conistor Street and Blue Jay Drive.
Created by Liberty resident Robert Evans, the 800-pound steel sculpture was unveiled in 2013. With links to Africa and carried to the Americas through the slave trade, bottle trees are believed to trap evil spirits after dusk and vaporize them in the heat of the morning sun.
Location: 502 N. Water Street
The Giant Pencil
A 100-foot, yellow No. 2 pencil can also be found in Liberty's skyscape. First and foremast a telecommunications tower, the giant pencil brightens Liberty's sklyine.