Responsibility in the making

Reading Time: 3 minutes Artist Gary Lee Price has chosen Utah Valley University for the birth place of the Statue of Responsibility

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Gary Lee Price is a world-renowned sculptor who has been chosen to create the 300-foot Statue of Responsibility. This statue is a bookend to the Statue of Liberty and is intended to be built within the next five years on the west coast.

The idea for the statue came from the book “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl.

In the book, Frankl describes how liberty wasn’t enough to preserve freedom, but that true freedom is a sum of liberty and responsibility. He suggested that the Statue of Liberty of the east coast should be accompanied by the Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.

To make this statue a reality, Frankl and a small group of founding members including Kevin Hall, author of “Aspire,” Stephen R. Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and James Newman commissioned Price to create a design for the statue. The design that Price came up with was of one hand reaching up and another coming down and clasping it.

“To me the design symbolizes that we are all connected,” Hall said. “We have a responsibility to serve, live and help each other.”

After the design was complete, Price and his wife Lanea came up with the idea to build the 15-foot prototype at UVU.

“It came to me in the middle of the night. I just knew Gary wasn’t supposed to build the statue in his studio,” Lanea said. “He needed to build it somewhere where everyone could see it.”

Lanea went on to say that the next morning she and her husband went to UVU and talked with President Matthew Holland, who was very enthusiastic for the birth place of the statue to be at UVU.

“I love sculpting at UVU because of its diversity of every race, creed and color,” Price said. “That’s what this statue is all about, including everybody and excluding nobody.”

To help inform the public about the Statue of Responsibility, Price and the Connecting Humanities Group are putting together Family Community nights. They are held every other Monday at 7 p.m at the statue which is located on the 4th floor of the Losee Center. At these Community nights, a video that describes Frankl’s idea for the statue will be shown and guest speakers are invited to talk about what the statue means to them.

At the most recent Community Night held Oct. 29, singer/song-writer Marvin Payne and former major league baseball player Woody Woodward expressed what the statue meant to them.

“This statue is going to be made because brave men and women saw the vision,” Woodward said.

Another event to be held to help spread the word on the statue is the breaking of the Guinness World Record of the most hands clasped. This event is to take place on Dec. 12, 2012 at 12 p.m in the UCCU Center. At least twelve other college campuses will also be participating in the event.

“We need at least 12,000 people to clasp hands and to spread the word and message of the Statue of Responsibility,” Lanea said.