AP top news in Iowa at 3:58 p.m. CDT

5/22/2015 3:15 PM
By Associated Press

Waterloo officials OKs $90K contract for Iowa sculptor

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The Waterloo City Council has approved a $90,000 contract to an Iowa sculptor to craft additional works honoring former first lady and Waterloo native Lou Henry Hoover.

The council unanimously voted Monday to approve the contract with Christopher B. Bennett of Keosauqua, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/1HyU2v4http://bit.ly/1HyU2v4 ) reported. Director Kent Shankle of the Waterloo Center for the Arts said Bennett was chosen by the public arts committee from around 10 artists who submitted proposals last fall.

Bennett still needs final approval from state officials before he can make a life-sized bronze sculpture of Hoover along with a trio of limestone columns. Bennett's website notes that he has been a full-time professional sculptor since 1979.

The plan is to finish the pieces by spring 2016.

"It's a nine- to 12-month project realistically once we get approval, hopefully, from the DOT," Shankle said. "We're not going to be able to get it in place this fall."

A downtown memorial currently includes a bronze sculpture by Waterloo native John Jago depicting Hoover as a child with her dog back-to-back with her adult image. Bennett would produce another bronze sculpture of Hoover. Aluminum and brass panels on the columns would be etched with photos from her life.

Funding for Bennett's contract includes $60,000 in federal highway funds, $21,000 from the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa and around $9,000 in city bonds.

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5/24/2015 | Last Updated: 5:31 AM