Jeremy and I visited this statue when we checked out one of our first parks. A. Price Woodard Park. It was August of 2018. I made the comment that the pioneer woman “had suffered enough, and now she has to stare at Lawrence Dumont Stadium.”
The stadium is gone now, and Riverfront Stadium fills the void left by big daddy Lawrence Dumont Stadium.
The sculpture titled, “Hardship and Dreams” was created by Dorothy Koelling in 1989 and dedicated to the city in 1994.
Dorothy Koelling was born near Deer Creek, OK and moved to the Wichita area with her husband, JT, in 1936.
Her obituary says, “Dorothy spent the first 60 years of her life as a loving wife and mother. Dorothy then devoted the last 30 years of her life creating bronze sculptures.”
Her works include:
“4 AM” Larksfield Place
The sculpture features a mother embracing her child at… I’m guessing, 4 am?
This lovely sculpture was dedicated to the honor of every mother for their gift of caring and love.
“Brotherhood” N. Woodlawn YMCA
The statue of two kids embracing their dog is in honor of Walter Trombold.
I love this statue. I have seen so many pictures of kids just hanging all over their dogs and the dogs just loving it.
The statue reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about dogs:
“Final Call” Kansas Firefighters Museum
This is a dramatic sculpture. I was told that it was created to send to the firefighters in New York after 9/11. But the NYFD suggested they use it as a tribute in Kansas.
The life-sized statue depicts a firefighter discovering the helmet of a fallen firefighter amid the debris. Behind the statue is a memorial wall that lists the names of Kansas firefighters who died in the line of duty.
“Hardship and Dreams” A. Price Woodard Park
It’s a bronze statue of a pioneer woman, Bible tight to her chest, holding a young boy’s hand while walking.
According to the dedication plaque, it “symbolizes the hardship and dreams of early Wichita pioneers.” It was given in memory of Eva M. and Will G. Price to recognize “their devotion and inspiration to the cultural and business life of Wichita.”
“Inheritance” Exploration Place
This little girl hugging the earth is cute. I will admit the girl reminded me of the creepy Red Light, Green Light Robot Doll in “The Squid Game”
Beyond that, the little girl sits on the edge of the park at Exploration Park.
“Jester” Century II
This sculpture greets guests entering Century II. He welcomes those that support the arts in Wichita and those “theater kids” seeking a place to belong. The jester’s face is based on Music Theater Wichita’s Wayne Bryan.
The Jester has become the symbol of performing arts in Wichita. The Jester is the statue given to winners of the annual Jester Awards. Wichita’s version of the Tony Awards.
Check out some of Wichita’s other public arts. I like to call it, How Great Our Art.