A large bronze statue of American Indian chief Touch the Clouds that once graced the Houston Oilers’ stadium was purchased and moved to a spot this week along Route 66 in Edmond, Oklahoma.
According to the Edmond Sun newspaper, the statue by David McGary was bought with $50,000 in city discretionary funds. Edmond features more than 150 pieces of public art. The statue was erected along Second Street (aka Route 66) on the edge of the University of Central Oklahoma campus.
Another Edmond Sun article had some details about the statue:
“Touch the Clouds” is an 18-foot-tall sculpture with a 15-foot-wide wingspan that is currently displayed at the Houston Astrodome, which is about to be demolished. The city purchased the statue for $90,000 from the Houston Livestock Rodeo Association. This figure includes transportation costs with the stipulation that the artwork is in acceptable condition when it arrives.
The sculpture was created by the late internationally known sculptor Dave McGary. “Touch the Clouds” is part of his Warrior Series. The sculpture depicts a Miniconjou chief of the late 19th century, a cousin of the Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse.
Route 66 tourism was one reason a city official cited for bringing the statue to Edmond.
More about Chief Touch the Clouds may be read here.
This report from KFOR-TV in nearby Oklahoma City found a few people grousing about the use of taxpayer dollars to buy the statue. I suspect, however, the city of Edmond saw a bargain price for a big, distinctive artwork and decided to take advantage of it.
And even though Touch the Clouds’ tribe wasn’t based in Oklahoma, no one will deny the state’s long and extensive history of Native American culture.