While Lady Liberty is riddled with symbolism from her crown to the torch she holds, the Statue of Responsibility stands as one giant, simplified metaphor. The Statue is meant to serve as a bookend to the Statue of Liberty, but some say the two monuments seem to have nothing in common and do not see how the two pieces are connected.
“Those two hands will represent us on the bottom and a divine hand from the sky helping us,” said Larry Revior, art student. “I do not think my interpretation is wrong … When it is as big as the Statue of Liberty, everyone will understand what I’m talking about.”
Concerns remain over the space and funds the statue requires when the university needs more funding for the updated Wee Care Center, the new Student Life and Wellness Building and a six-story parking garage currently undergoing construction.
Supporters of the statue argue the benefits will outweigh any problems the university faces with the statue. UVU will be home to the first Statue of Responsibility, and once a 300-foot companion piece to Lady Liberty is finished on the west coast, UVU’s name could draw national attention.
The statue’s artist, Gary Price, said the university would benefit greatly from the statue, and once the clay version is completed and a rubber mold is made, “a permanent 15-foot stainless steel Statue of Responsibility” will be featured on campus.
Price said “funds will still need to be raised” for the stainless steel statue.
Some students have also questioned the 15-foot version’s location. Price said he chose UVU over Brigham Young University, the University of Utah and other colleges that may draw a greater amount of publicity in comparison. He chose UVU because of the university’s high enrollment numbers and the students’ “forward thinking.”
Price said that he studied many other monuments and a lot of his own work to figure out what the statue needed to look like. He realized he “wanted it to be simple, straightforward and recognizable” and said the design “had to come from my heart,.”
The final 300-foot piece will be completed within the next five years, though a location has yet to be lined up. Price hinted an announcement could be made soon.
“It’s looking really good with the people we’ve met with,” Price said. “We’ve had some phenomenal meetings lately.”
Despite the rise in tuition and addition of classrooms down the hall from the statue, Statue of Responsibility does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.