Gary Lee Price, A Great Contributor

DABS is ready for Summer!
DABS is ready for Summer!


One of my favorite things about Dallas Blooms was most definitely Gary Lee Price’s Great Contributor Sculptures.  Well, guess what, they’re still here!

Complimentary Lecture

I made several visits to Blooms this year, but one of my favorites was the media day for Gary Lee Price, so I was thrilled when I received an email letting me know he was coming for another visit.  I made reservations for the lecture and this time I invited Bill along, because I thought he’d enjoy getting to know this wonderful artist.

Saturday dawned a bit chilly and overcast, but that did not deter us.  At the lecture, the artist covered some of the same ground we’d covered on media day, but when he launched into future projects, we got very excited.  The same guy who designed the life-sized statues of Great Contributors now gracing the grounds of the Arboretum has a new project in the wings and it is a lot bigger than life-sized.

With Liberty Comes Responsibility

There’s something big about to happen on the West Coast and you can be a part of it.  The East Coast has Lady Liberty and the West Coast is going to have the Statue of Responsibility.

The artist loves his Great Contributors project and has plans to expand it with life-sized statues devoted to great female contributors, but he’s also very, very excited about the prospects of creating the 300-foot-tall Statue of Responsibility.  His inspiration came from author Viktor Frankl , a Holocaust survivor who believed true Liberty must go hand in hand with Responsibility.

On a trip to Vienna to get the blessing of Frankl’s widow on the project, Gary Lee Price took along his prototype of a statue depicting one arm reaching up for help clasped by another arm, there to offer assistance.  When it was revealed to Mrs. Frankel she was overcome with emotion.  She led the artist into her husband’s study.  There one the wall was a drawing Mr. Frankel had procured shortly after his release from the concentration camps.  The picture showed a hand reaching up for help, but no help could be found.  That picture was the inspiration for his life’s work and the artist had captured the idea of it without ever having met Mr. Frankel.  The widow felt as if her husband’s dream was coming true.

By visiting the Statue of Responsibility website you can find our all about the project and discover several ways to participate in the raising of this beautiful monument, which represents an even more wonderful idea.  An idea whose time has come, according to Leesa Clark-Price, the artists lovely wife and Executive Director of the Responsibility Foundation.

But What About the Arboretum

After the lecture, the artist led us on walking tour and shared his thoughts about each of the statues.  The exhibit deserves more than one visit, because each time you view them you can you gain more insight into the depth of the subjects’ personalities and the greatness of the artist’s genius.  The good news is that the Great Contributors Exhibit will be at the Arboretum through November 27th.

The garden itself deserves frequent visits.  I’ve already been several times this year and each visit has had it’s own flavor.  The first time I was overwhelmed by the fragrance of blooming flowers and bright colors of spring.  The next visit was devoted to the Great Contributors and even though that visit was only a few days later, more flowers had bloomed and a change in the weather to the better made everything look fresh and new.  A few weeks later I was there again.  The azaleas had blossomed and the trees had become green.

And don’t forget to visit the gift shop when you’re there. This guy followed us home and took up residence by the pond.

I have continued to make visits and bring friends.  Each time the garden has amazed me with new things to discover.  I noticed this time that the bright oranges and yellows of spring have been replaced with purples surprisingly matched with every contrasting color imaginable.  You really do need to see it to appreciate it – and the rose arbor is blooming!

Unfortunately, Saturday started out as a dreary day and while the Arboretum was as beautiful as always, photographing it was a bit of a challenge, so we just grabbed a few shots on our way out.  The sun teased us with the idea  of it coming out, and we thought about staying and watching Mr. Price do a little sculpting in the garden, but Bill was wishing for a Sonic burger.  So we picked up our new metal friend and headed to the drive-in.

On Wednesday, I’ll talk about the population aboard our latest cruise and on Friday you’ll find out how I dropped the ball on my youthful trip to El Paso, Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands.  For now I’ll leave you with some pictures from the garden, but do come back to visit.

Mr. Lincoln and his sculptor friend, Gary Lee Price
Mr. Lincoln and his sculptor friend, Gary Lee Price
Roses under the arbor
Roses under the arbor





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