The statue, sculpted by James Van Nuys, is part of Rapid City, South Dakota's City of Presidents collection.
Rapid City in South Dakota has a plethora of statues of US Presidents erected as a way to honor the historic leaders. The latest statue to be revealed is of former Democratic President Barack Obama.
Unveiled on Saturday, July 13, this statue is particularly special because it features another member of the Obama family, younger daughter Sasha Obama. The statue was created by sculptor James Van Nuys and now joins the City of Presidents collection, a privately funded project which has raised over $2.5 million thus far.
Here's a couple of pics of the statue of @BarackObama that was unveiled this weekend as part of Rapid City's "City of Presidents" display. Be sure to look for it the next time you're in downtown Rapid City! pic.twitter.com/9Vauj4QJrQ— SD Democratic Party (@SoDakDems) July 16, 2019
Sculpted entirely out of bronze, the statue features Obama holding his daughter Sasha with one hand while he waves with the other. Both the President and the former First Daughter are seen flashing bright smiles.
Originally, the statue was only supposed to feature Obama and not his daughter. However, this idea seemed a tad too boring and anti-climactic for sculptor Van Nuys and the group behind the project.
New Barack Obama Statue Unveiled and its Full of Black Girl Magic https://t.co/cLRpxQaLrY— Texanna52 (@Texanna33) July 17, 2019
Therefore, they decided to brainstorm a few more ideas before finalizing on one. Dallerie Davis, the group’s co-founder, revealed in an interview with CNN, "One of us said, 'This is boring. This is not going to have the wow factor.' A man waving is not a showstopper."
She added in an interview with KOTA News, "We found out that a standing guy who is waving is rather boring and the one thing we don't want to do is have a boring statue on the street, particularly someone like President Obama. He deserves a statue that isn't boring."
That's when the idea to include Sasha was born. Van Nuys claimed that the statue was inspired by a photo that displayed the father-daughter pair walking down on a stage at Chicago's Grant Park after Obama was first elected President in 2008.
He stated regarding the statue, "It's the first of the four statues I've done for the City of Presidents where it is somebody people will recognize. The other three were from the 1850s and I don't think anyone had a strong emotional attachment to them, so it's nice to do someone people are interested in."
As Van Nuys stated, people are definitely already interested. "We've had a lot of people indicate that they plan on coming from all over the United States," Davis said. "It's remarkable to me how much interest there is. We've had a number of people throughout the United States who say be sure to let us know when it is happening, we will be there. I feel we will have a really good audience for that one."
The statue of the Obamas is currently located at the corner of 4th Street and Saint Joseph Street in downtown Rapid City and it's definitely worth the trip!