I recently posted a story about the benches that sit between Century II and the old library. In my hunt to find out more I discovered a wonderful Wichita supporter in Helen Galloway. The benches were not her only donated pieces.
“The Promise of America” has always been a favorite statue of mine. The face on the kid really draws you into the piece.
The statue was donated in honor of her father, Farris Jabara, to pay tribute to his journey to America
Farris came to the U.S. in 1903 from what is now Lebanon. He was just 15 when he passed through Ellis Island. He originally settled in Texas but moved to Oklahoma where he began working as a peddler. He would later make his fortune as a cattleman.
According to an article by Fran Jabara, the statue depicts Farris when he was peddling in Oklahoma.
The statue was created by Babs Mellor, a Wichita artist who’s work can be seen all over town including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Cary A. Nation sculpture on Douglas and the Mary Elizabeth Lease Sculpture near Century II.
Helen is a huge advocate for our dear city saying, “It’s one of the greatest cities in America, as far as I am concerned, and I have been to a lot of them. Lots of decent people.”
Check out some of Wichita’s other public arts. I like to call it, How Great Our Art.