You might have noticed the statue of kids playing and reading outside Century II. The plaque says, “The Future of America is dedicated to our children and their children and to all children of America.”
It was created by Leo Rossi. Which is believed to be a fictional name and the statues have been produced a number of times around the world.
Also known as “Children at Play,” this statue was donated by Wichitan Helen Galloway, she dedicated it to the children of Wichita and her husband, Jay. The sculptures were installed in 1995-1996. They are actually brass, not the bronze you would expect.
Jay Galloway was a Wichita High School East graduate and made his money at the Galloway Drilling Company.
They were married on February 25, 1976. They had seven children.
Jay’s wife, Helen, told Splurge magazine, “He was a very strong Christian man, he went to Bible study every week.” He was a supporter of Friends of McConnel, East Heights UMC, University of Oklahoma, the Wichita Crime Commission, and Wichita High School East.
Jay Galloway passed away after a battle with Dementia on November 15, 2012. He was laid to rest at Old Mission Cemetery.
I love the playfulness of the statue. There is supposed to be a water feature that runs under the kids skipping on the rocks, but I don’t recall ever seeing it working.
One little girl is reading a book of Fairy Tales. A quick look at the book reveals she is reading the fable, “The Lion and The Mouse.” I think that is an interesting choice since the moral of the story is everyone has need of the other. The children are playing, you can feel the need of friendship and belonging.
When I asked her why she chose that location Helen said, “I thought it would be a place for people to enjoy the art and it would have lovely exposure to let the people of Wichita know how lucky we are to live in this wonderful city.”
Check out some of Wichita’s other public arts. I like to call it, How Great Our Art.