Twilight of the Living Statues

PhotoTwilight of the Living Statues is a FREE event,  open to all families. It  will be held on Sunday, May 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Mississippi River Sculpture Park. The Mississippi Sculpture Park is located across the street from the Villa Louis mansion. Visitors are encouraged to get into the “spirit” and come dressed as their favorite historical figure or persona. Visitors are invited to bring their own snacks and beverages. 

The Sculpture Park is where fine art brings history to life.  Life-sized bronze figures from the pages of history and prehistory gather together around a fire-ring, as if meeting for a present day rendezvous. Already installed are: Chief Blackhawk, Dr. Beaumont and son Israel, Victorian Lady, The Voyageur, and Emma Big Bear.
Visitors to this year’s event will listen to vignettes presented by costumed local high school students and area talent who have been working with Luana Stiemke,  PdC Parks and Recreation drama teacher and music teacher for St. Gabriels’ School.   Each “living statue” will tell their story of how their life made an impact on the history of southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa.
Visitors will also listen to live music in the background while exploring the new addition of the Leamy Shelter as well as the newly developing Trees of the Visiting Presidents  being installed north of the Sculpture Park.
The “Fun-Raising” Follies event, held in January in the Little Theater at the Prairie du Chien High School, “kicked off” our 2014 fund-raising efforts to “bring to life” Marianne Labuche (pronounced “La-BOOSH”), Wisconsin’s first doctor. 
Marianne Labuche was a local healer known as “Aunt Mary Ann” by her faithful followers in the early 1800s. Marianne Labuche used a medallion, about the same size as the token given to each participating fourth grader, to save a child’s life from a scalping attack. Labuche’s living statue will be roaming around during the event telling tales about her life and work.
Visitors' generous donations will be gladly accepted to help continue the task of bringing Marianne Labuche's bronze life-sized statue to a permanent home in the park

Bluffview 4th grade children are strongly encouraged to attend the event with their families.  Each year the fourth graders are required to do a report on historical figures as part of their curriculum.  Cindy Hertrampf, a retired teacher from the area (who also serves on the Sculpture Park event committee) and teacher Mary Gasser created an opportunity for all 4th grade students to learn more information for his/her required class report.
Each fourth grader attending will receive a special token with historical significance. On the Monday after the event, those students with tokens will be invited to fill out a three-question survey reflecting on their experiences at the Mississippi River Sculpture Park event. Some of those wonderful 4th grade “insights” from the upcoming surveys are planning to be published in an upcoming Courier Press issue.
Should Sunday, May 4th prove to be too rainy for this outdoor event, the rain date will be Saturday, May 10th (the day before Mother’s Day). For more information, contact Sculpture Park board president Rogeta Halvorson at or 563-880-9190.