Sculpting the Wind:Alexa King and the Making of the Barbaro Memorial Statue



>>: THE SPRING OF 2006…ANOTHER SPRINGTIME AND ANOTHER RUSH OF EXCITEMENT PRECEDES ANOTHER KENTUCKY DERBY. BUT THIS WOULD BECOME A SPECIAL SPRING IN LOUISVILLE. ONE HORSE STOOD OUT AMONG THE OTHERS. >>: THEY RUN TO THE TOP OF THE STRETCH IN THE HOLY BULL, AND BARBARO AND DOCTOR DECHERD ARE STILL 1-2. FLASHY BULL RACES NEXT. BARBARO, SHARP HUMOR…BARBARO'S GOT HIM! BARBARO WINS! >>: WHEN DERBY DAY ARRIVED, THE STRAPPING BAY SON OF DYNAFORMER DID NOT DISAPPOINT. HE WON THE RACE BY A DOMINATING SIX AND A HALF LENGTHS. WITH SUCH A STATEMENT OF VICTORY, BARBARO WAS HERALDED AS THE NEXT POTENTIAL TRIPLE CROWN WINNER, A FEAT THAT HAD NOT BEEN ACCOMPLISHED IN 27 YEARS. PREAKNESS DAY ARRIVED, AND ALL EYES WERE ON BARBARO, BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE. IN THE MONTHS FOLLOWING HIS INJURY, BARBARO CAPTURED THE HEARTS AND ATTENTION OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. HIS GALLANT BATTLE FOR LIFE WAS SOMETHING MANY COULD COMPARE TO THE STRUGGLES WITHIN THEIR OWN LIVES. IT SEEMED AS THOUGH HE COULD SURVIVE, BUT ON JANUARY 29TH, 2007, BARBARO WAS EUTHANIZED. LAMINITIS IN ALL FOUR FEET CLAIMED A CHAMPION. BARBARO WAS CHEERED ON DURING HIS CAREER BY MILLIONS OF RACING FANS WORLDWIDE. AS A GESTURE OF GRATITUDE TO HIS FANS, BARBARO'S OWNERS, ROY AND GRETCHEN JACKSON, DECIDED TO MAKE HIS FINAL RESTING PLACE A PUBLIC ONE. IT WAS DECIDED THAT A MEMORIAL WOULD BE SET AT THE SITE OF HIS MOST FAMOUS WIN, THE KENTUCKY DERBY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS IN LOUISVILLE. JUST WHAT WOULD THIS MEMORIAL LOOK LIKE? WHAT WOULD IT SAY? AND JUST WHO WOULD BE CHOSEN TO UNDERTAKE SUCH A PROMINENT AND SENSITIVE WORK? >>: I WAS BORN IN MUNCIE, INDIANA. SO I GREW UP THERE UNTIL I WAS IN FIFTH GRADE. I BEGGED FOR A PONY, OF COURSE, BUT MY OLDER SISTER HAD A HORSE AT THE BALL BROTHERS' FARM OUT WHERE THE STADIUM IS AT BALL STATE NOW, AND SO OF COURSE, LITTLE SISTER — I HAVE ANOTHER LITTLE SISTER AND ME. WE GOT TO GO HORSEBACK RIDING WITH HER. SO THAT STARTED IT. I JUST COULDN'T THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE AFTER THAT. IT WAS HORSE, HORSE, HORSE. HORSE CRAZY, I GUESS. MY FATHER WAS IN THE MILITARY. WE WERE TRANSFERRED TO INDIANAPOLIS TO FORT BENJAMIN HARRISON. THEN THEY MOVED TO CAMP ATTERBURY. IT WAS KIND OF LIKE 32,000 ACRES FOR A KID WITH A HORSE WAS A GREAT THING. SO I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RIDE EVERYWHERE. IT WAS A GREAT PLACE TO GROW UP. THERE WAS A LOT OF THINGS GOING ON MILITARYWISE, BUT ALSO THERE WAS A LOT OF WILDLIFE THERE. AT NIGHT WHEN MY DAD WAS DONE WITH WORK, WE WOULD TAKE THE BIG TRUCK OUT AND JUST DRIVE AROUND TO LOOK AT THE LAKES, OR, YOU KNOW, THE DEER. THAT TYPE OF THING. SO I GOT A REAL FEEL FOR NATURE. I RACED PONIES ON THE TRACK WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD. WITH THE MONEY THAT I WON RACING TROTTING PONIES, I BOUGHT MY FIRST ARABIAN HORSE. AND I HAD GONE TO THE ARABIAN HORSE SHOW AT INDIANAPOLIS AT THE FAIRGROUNDS, AND THEN I FOUND OUT THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE AN EXHIBITION RACE. SO I OF COURSE SET ABOUT TRAINING HIM. MY DAD PUT A TRACK IN NEXT TO OUR HOUSE ON THE POST, AND I TOOK HIM UP TO INDIANAPOLIS AND RACED HIM IN A MILE RACE. SO THAT WAS MY EXPERIENCE WITH RACING HORSES. THE OTHER PART ABOUT IT WAS I DID LEARN A LOT ABOUT THE WAY A HORSE REACTS TO OTHER HORSES, BUT ONE OF THE MAJOR THINGS THAT I BROUGHT TO THE COMMISSION THAT I DID OF BARBARO WAS THE NOISE, THE SOUND OF THE CROWD AS YOU WERE COMING UP THE STRETCH. IT WAS AS MUCH A NOISE AS IT WAS A FEELING. IT WAS LIKE THIS ENERGY THAT CAME OVER THE TOP OF YOU. IT GIVES ME GOOSEBUMPS NOW TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. SO I CAN'T IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO RIDE A HORSE IN THE DERBY. IT HAS TO BE ALMOST AN OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE. MY MOTHER IS AN ARTIST AND A PAINTER. SO SHE TOOK ME TO THE ART STUDENTS' LEAGUE IN INDIANAPOLIS, AND THEY WOULD LET ME PAINT OR WORK WITH PASTELS. I WAS VERY ARTY. I HAVE NEVER DONE ANYTHING EVER BUT THAT. I'VE ALWAYS BEEN AN ARTIST. I WENT TO BALL STATE UNIVERSITY IN THE ART DEPARTMENT. IT WAS A CLASSIC ART EXPERIENCE, I THINK. I DISCOVERED SCULPTURE AT BALL STATE, BECAUSE UP TO THEN I WAS DRAWING. I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT SCULPTURE, AND IT WAS A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE FOR ME BECAUSE AS SOON AS I GOT MY HANDS ON IT AND WOULD BE ABLE TO EXPRESS THE MOVEMENT OR THE LINE OF THAT FIGURE IN FRONT OF ME. YOU KNOW, THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO. >>: ROY AND GRETCHEN JACKSON FEEL VERY CLOSE TO BARBARO, AND CERTAINLY WITH HIS PASSING, IT WAS A GREAT EFFORT TO FIND AN ARTIST WHO COULD TRULY CAPTURE HIS SPIRIT AND HIS STORY AND THE ESSENCE OF HOW HE RACED. >>: BARBARO'S GOT HIM! BARBARO WINS! >>: YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU PICK UP THE PHONE WHAT THE NEXT JOB OR REQUEST IS GOING TO BE. >>: WHAT I REMEMBER DISTINCTLY IS WE FINDING OUT ABOUT IT AND THE JACKSONS BEING AVAILABLE FOR AN INTERVIEW. THE MINUTE WE FOUND OUT THAT THEY WERE INTERESTED IN TALKING TO ALEXA, WE SCURRIED AROUND AS FAST AS WE COULD, JUMPED IN THE CAR IN MADISON AND DROVE DOWN TO LEXINGTON SO THAT ALEXA COULD HAVE A ONE-ON-ONE MEETING WITH THEM. THEY HAD PROBABLY OVER A HUNDRED ARTISTS CONTACT THEIR AGENT WHO THEN WHITTLED IT DOWN TO THE MOST QUALIFIED IN THE FIELD TO TEN PEOPLE. THEY HAD DEFINITIVE THINGS THAT THEY WANTED DONE, WHICH WAS BARBARO, OBVIOUSLY PRADO ON THIS HORSE, AND AT THE KENTUCKY DERBY. AND ALSO ALL FOUR FEET OFF THE GROUND. WHAT I ORIGINALLY DID, THERE WAS TWO ACTUAL, TWO DESIGNS THAT I SUBMITTED. ONE WAS THE RAIL SYSTEM. THE OTHER ONE WAS TO USE THE FINISH LINE POLE OR POST. MAKE IT SMALLER, SO THAT IT WOULD LIKE IT WAS DIMINISHED BEHIND HIM, AND THEN ATTACH HIM TO THAT. THEY DECIDED THEY WANTED TO USE THE RAILING SYSTEM. NOT ONLY DID I HAVE TO COME UP WITH A STATUE, I HAD TO COME UP WITH A DESIGN FOR THE PLAZA, WHICH WE HAD A FIFTY-FOOT PLANTER THAT WAS THERE. SO I HAD TO GET A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT OR ARCHITECTS INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT TO BE ABLE TO SCALE THE WAY WE SET THE STATUE SO THAT IT WOULD MAKE A STATEMENT. I HAD A PHOTOGRAPH, AND I SLID IT ACROSS THE TABLE, AND I SAID, "WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PUT THIS HORSE UP IN THE AIR," HE LOOKED AT IT, AND HIS EYES GOT BIG, AND HE GOES, "OH, BARBARO!" I SAID, "DON'T WORRY ABOUT BARBARO. I'LL TAKE CARE OF THE HORSE. YOU JUST DO THE RAIL SYSTEM FOR ME." AND SO WE SAT DOWN AND DREW OUT WHAT WE FIGURED WEIGHTWISE HOW WE COULD PUT THAT HORSE UP IN THE AIR. AND PRETTY MUCH FROM THAT DRAWING IS WHAT WE WORKED FROM WITH ALL THE ENGINEERING THAT WENT INTO IT. HAS IT BEEN DONE BEFORE? NO. HAVE THEY DONE — YOU KNOW, HAS THERE ACTUALLY BEEN A HORSE THAT SIZE THAT'S BEEN PUT UP IN THE AIR LIKE THAT? NO. SO WE DIDN'T HAVE ANYBODY TO TALK TO THAT COULD HAVE SAID, "OH, YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU CAN FIDDLE WITH THIS, AND YOU'LL GET THIS THING TO WORK." THERE IS AN EXTENSIVE AMOUNT OF STEEL UNDERNEATH IT, AND THEN THE RAIL SYSTEM WHICH IS THE POST, AND THEN IT GOES INTO THE HORSE. SO IT'S LIKE A C-SHAPE. >>: SHE LIVED AND BREATHED BARBARO, AND IN HER PROPOSAL YOU COULD TELL. SHE INTERVIEWED VETS. SHE TALKED TO HORSE EXPERTS. SHE LOOKED AT RACING FOOTAGE. SHE REALLY KNEW THE SUBJECT, AND THAT GOES FAR BEYOND WHAT MOST PEOPLE DO WHEN THEY ARE COMMISSIONED FOR A PROJECT LIKE THIS. >>: ALEXA WAS FRETTING A FEW DAYS BEFORE, AND I REMEMBER HER COMING UP SAYING, "I DON'T THINK I GOT IT. I DON'T THINK I GOT IT. I KNOW WHO GOT IT." AND I SAID, "RELAX, ALEXA. JUST HOLD IN THERE FOR A LITTLE BIT LONGER." >>: ALEXA WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT TRULY CAPTURED HIM IN MOTION LIKE HE WAS TRULY FLOATING IN AIR. I'VE SPOKEN A LOT WITH GRETCHEN JACKSON, AND SHE CERTAINLY CONNECTED EMOTIONALLY AND PERSONALLY WITH ALEXA. ALEXA HAS AN EFFERVESCENT QUALITY TO HER. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HER WORK, AND SHE IS A VERY GIFTED ARTIST. IT DOESN'T HURT THAT SHE LOVES HORSES, AND IS REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT EQUINE ART IN PARTICULAR. >>: WHEN I FOUND OUT MY MOM WAS GOING TO BE DOING THE BARBARO MEMORIAL, I WAS VERY ECSTATIC. SHE WAS JUST ON TARGET WITH IT. HER WHOLE PRESENTATION WAS JUST PERFECT, AND THE MAQUETTE THAT SHE BUILT WAS ASTOUNDING. SO I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, SHE WAS PRETTY MUCH GOING TO GET THIS JOB. >>: JUST PURE JOY FROM THAT MINUTE ON, AND THEN SOON AFTER THAT REALITY SET IN THAT THE CHALLENGE WAS AHEAD. >>: SO THE BUILDING OF THE ACTUAL MODEL OCCURRED IN OUR LITTLE TWO-CAR GARAGE AS WE WERE DOING A LOT OF OTHER THINGS, LIKE SELLING THE HOUSE. >>: THE STATUE WAS TO BE 1.25 LIFE SIZE. SO TO BE ABLE TO WORK ON A PIECE LIKE THAT, YOU NEED ABOUT 14 FEET TO BE ABLE TO GET UP ON A SCAFFOLDING AND GET OVER THE TOP OF IT. NOW I LIKE TO DO THINGS FROM THE INSIDE OUT. IT WAS MORE LIKE THE MOVEMENT HAD TO COME FROM WITHIN ON THIS PIECE, AND I FELT IT WOULD BE MORE SUCCESSFUL IF I DID IT THAT WAY. I DID IT THE WAY IT HAS BEEN DONE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. I POINTED IT UP WHICH MEANS I HAD TO USE A CALIBRATED SYSTEM TO TAKE THAT SMALLER ONE-THIRD LIFE-SIZE PIECE AND MAKE IT LARGER. AND I MARKED IT OUT ON THE FLOOR, ALL THE CHALK MARKS AS TO WHERE HIS FOOT WOULD BE, HIS KNEE WOULD BE, HIS FOOT WOULD BE DOWN. HIS NOSE, WHERE HIS CHIN WAS, ALL THOSE THINGS. YOU HAVE TO COME UP WITH A SUPPORT SYSTEM TO HOLD THIS WHOLE THING UP. SO I USE STEEL, AND THAT'S TYPICALLY A STEEL TUBING AND REBAR FOR THE LEGS. WE MADE PRADO SO WE COULD TAKE HIM OFF. ALSO BARBARO'S HEAD AND NECK CAME OFF TOTALLY SO WE COULD GET IT OUT UNDERNEATH THE GARAGE DOOR. THERE IS A CENTRAL STAND THAT THE WHOLE THING IS SET ON THAT WAS A STEEL PLATE. SO IT WAS VERY RIGID. ONCE YOU GET THAT ARMATURE UP, YOU HAVE TO FILL OUT THE FORM ITSELF, AND THE BEST WAY TO DO IT IS TO USE THE CONSTRUCTION FOAM. >>: THE ARTIST IS SO IMMERSED IN THIS THAT IT BECOMES A PART NOT ONLY OF THEIR LIFE BUT ANYBODY'S LIFE THAT'S AROUND THEM. THERE MIGHT BE A TIME WHERE YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE'S THE KNIVES OR WHERE IS THE ELECTRIC KNIFE? AND I KNEW WHERE TO LOOK BECAUSE THAT STUFF WAS OUT IN THE GARAGE AND ALEXA WAS USING IT TO CARVE ON THE STYROFOAM FOR BARBARO. >>: I USED PROBABLY 50 CANS OF FOAM THAT YOU BUY AT THE STORE THAT FILLS CRACKS AND CREVASSES AND STUFF LIKE THAT. ONCE I GOT TO THAT POINT, THEN I USED A SIZING, SOME ELMER'S GLUE WATERED DOWN. I PUT THAT ON THERE AND LET IT DRY REALLY GOOD AND THEN THE CLAY STICKS RIGHT TO IT. I STARTED ON THAT ARMATURE IN MAY, AND I STARTED PUTTING CLAY ON IT IN THE FIRST OF JULY. WHEN I WAS MAKING THE ARMATURE I WAS TRYING NOT TO THINK ABOUT BARBARO'S STORY. SO ONCE I STARTED WITH THAT CLAY, YOU KNOW, I SORT OF — I'LL NEVER FORGET THAT ONE DAY WHEN I HAD THE BOX WITH HIS BRIDLE IN IT. I PULLED THAT OUT OF THERE, AND IT REALLY SORT OF SHOCKED ME WHEN I SAW THAT SHADOW ROLL, THAT IT'S HIM, AND IT'S NOW TIME TO MAKE THE STATUE AS MUCH AS BARBARO COULD POSSIBLY BE IN METAL. SO THAT'S WHAT I DID. >>: THERE IS THE CHALLENGE OF MAKING A UNIQUE, DYNAMIC STATUE IN THE FASHION THAT IT WOULD BRING BARBARO BACK TO LIFE AGAIN, AND BRING BACK THE PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCE THAT THEY HAD WITH THIS HORSE. >>: I SIT BACK AND THINK TO MYSELF, NOW IS THE TIME TO GIVE IT THAT ARTISTIC, THE SURFACE, THE STYLE, THE FEELING, AND ALL OF THOSE THINGS, MY HAND, THE HANDPRINTS, ALL OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE LEFT ON THERE. YOU JUST BUTTER THE WHOLE THING. SO YOU GET CLAY ON IT. SO YOU'VE GOT A BROWN HORSE INSTEAD OF A PINK AND BLUE ONE. I USE THESE BIG TOOLS AND WOULD CUT SOME AWAY AND PUT ALL THE MUSCLE GROUPS IN AND NUMBERED THEM SO THAT I MADE SURE THAT I HAD ALL OF THEM IN THERE RIGHT, LIKE POINTS OF A SHOULDER, THINGS LIKE THAT. >>: SHE DID IT THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY, AND THAT'S ACTUALLY TO TOUCH EVERY ASPECT OF THE CREATION OF THE STATUE, TO MOVE YOUR WRISTS ALL THE TIME, TO PUSH CLAY WITH THE HEEL OF YOUR HAND, TO STRETCH IT OUT, AND TO DO THAT ON A DAILY BASIS. IT'S JUST PHYSICALLY TAXING. IT WASN'T LIKE AN EMOTIONAL UP-AND-DOWN BECAUSE THE DEDICATION WAS THERE. THAT WAS NOT AN ISSUE. IT WAS JUST THE PAIN OF CREATION. >>: I FINALLY DROVE UP THERE, GOT A CHANCE TO SEE IT, AND I WALKED IN TO HER STUDIO, AND YOU WALK IN, AND YOU JUST WENT, "OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. IT'S BARBARO." HE HAD A CERTAIN LOOK TO HIM WHERE YOU KNEW THAT WAS THAT HORSE. YOU COULD TELL. SHE JUST NAILED IT. >>: WHAT SEPARATES MY MOM FROM OTHER ARTISTS I WOULD SAY FOR HER IT JUST IS ALWAYS A MATTER OF MOTION. HER ARTWORK IS IN MOTION, AND I'VE SAID STRUCTURALLY IT'S ALWAYS CORRECT. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SEE SOMETHING ON HER PIECES THAT IS INCORRECT. SHE REALLY BRINGS THE EMOTION OUT IN A PIECE. >>: I THINK IT WAS IN SEPTEMBER, AND RUNNING UP ON WHAT I WOULD CONSIDER TO BE A FINAL APPROVAL ON IT. MR. AND MRS. JACKSON HAD NOT SEEN THAT MODEL AT ALL DURING THE PROCESS OF BUILDING IT. I SENSED THAT THEY WERE NERVOUS TO SEE IT. AND I HOPED THAT THEY WOULDN'T BE DISAPPOINTED BY WHAT THEY WERE GOING TO SEE. ROY WALKED IN FIRST AND HE DOESN'T REALLY SAY A WHOLE LOT. GRETCHEN WALKED IN AND SHE LOOKED UP AT HIM, AND SHE SAID, "IT'S PERFECT." SHE DID TELL ME, "I LOVED THAT HORSE." SHE NEVER GOT TO RIDE THAT HORSE. AND WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE THAT SHE COULD ACTUALLY GET ON THAT STATUE? IT WAS A PRETTY EMOTIONAL MOMENT I THINK FOR BOTH OF THEM. THEY RAISED THAT HORSE, AND THEY WENT THROUGH ALL THAT WITH HIM, THE HIGHEST THAT YOU CAN POSSIBLY GO, AND THEN THE POSSIBILITY OF LOSING HIM. IT WAS A TOUGH MOMENT FOR ME, BUT I THINK, YOU KNOW, THEY REALLY LIKED WHAT THEY SAW. >>: THE MOLD MAKERS COME IN, AND THEY TOTALLY TEAR IT UP. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE, YOU ARE LIKE, IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL. IT'S JUST THIS BIG WHITE THING. WHEN THEY CAME IN TO DO THIS PIECE, THEY WOULD REMOVE ALL THE EXTRA PIECES. I THINK THERE WAS 84 PIECES INVOLVED IN THIS STATUE. ALL THOSE PIECES WERE SEPARATELY MOLDED AND WE SHIPPED THEM OUT TO ART CASTING IN COLORADO. >>: WE MADE A RUBBER MOLD WITH A PLASTER OF PARIS MOTHER MOLD FROM THE ORIGINAL CLAY. THOSE MOLDS WERE USED TO CREATE A WAX REPLICA OF THE LIFE-SIZED PIECE. >>: MY PART BASICALLY WAS DONE AS FAR AS THE SCULPTING PART, BUT THEN I HAD TO DO ALL THE MANAGEMENT WORK ON HOW THIS THING WAS CAST AND REASSEMBLED. >>: THERE WAS A FAIRLY SUBSTANTIAL SUBSTRUCTURE THAT ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THE PIECE, AND WHILE THAT WAS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, WE CAST THE WAXES. THE STRUCTURE WAS IN PLACE IN THE SHOP, AND THE BRONZE WAS BASICALLY BUILT AROUND THE SUBSTRUCTURE. IT STANDS OUT BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE AND COMPLEXITY AND THE SUBJECT MATTER. I MEAN, BABARO WAS COMMISSIONED AND YOU CAN'T GET THAT WRONG BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A MILLION CRITICS ON IT. >>: WHEN I WAS IN COLORADO, AND THE BIG PIECE IS UP, AND WHERE IT'S BEING WELDED TOGETHER, AND WE'RE WORKING ON IT, I ACTUALLY STARTED TO CREATE THAT SMALLER ONE. WE DECIDED IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WE COULD OFFER TO THE PUBLIC SO THAT THEY COULD PARTICIPATE IN THAT WHOLE STORY OF BARBARO. THE PROFITS GO TO LAMINITIS AND/OR HORSE RESCUE. >>: THE BARBARO WAS LOADED ON OUR TRAILER, AND MYSELF AND ANOTHER GENTLEMEN DELIVERED THE PIECE TO LOUISVILLE. >>: WE HAD TO SCHEDULE IN WHEN THE JACKSONS COULD BRING THE ASHES OF BARBARO IN. BECAUSE OF THE CONSTRUCTION AREA OF THE BASE WE NEEDED TO BE READY FOR THAT. THERE WAS A BIG CONCRETE CRYPT THERE. >>: PROBABLY THE MOST TOUCHING DAY FOR ME WAS THEY HAD CHAIN-LINKED FENCING GOING AROUND THE ACTUAL SITE TO HIDE THE PROCESS FROM THE PUBLIC. THE DAY THAT THE JACKSONS CAME WITH ALEXA AND INTERRED BARBARO'S ASHES WAS A REALLY EMOTIONAL DAY FOR ALL OF US WHO WITNESSED IT. WE HAVE A LOT OF STAFF HERE AT THE DERBY MUSEUM WHO FEEL REALLY ATTACHED TO BARBARO'S STORY. AND TO WATCH THEM DO THAT INTERNMENT JUST IN THEIR OWN PRIVATE WAY WAS A REALLY SENTIMENTAL TIME FOR ALL OF US. >>: IT WAS ROY AND GRETCHEN AND I AND ONE OF THE — I THINK A COUPLE WOMEN HAD GIVEN GRETCHEN SOME ROSES, AND SHE HAD THE ROSES AND SHE SAID, "SHOULD WE PUT THEM ON TOP OF THE ASHES?" IT WAS A BIG WALNUT BOX. AND I SAID, "OH, YEAH. LET'S DO THAT." AND I HAD ASKED HER EARLIER I HAD EMAILED HER, I SAID "IF THERE IS ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT TO SAY, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE PLACE HIM IN THERE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD BRING THAT WITH YOU." DO THAT TYPE OF THING. SO THAT WAS PRETTY TOUCHING, BECAUSE IT WAS SORT OF YOU BRING HIM IN. WE HAD HIM PLACED. WE PUT THE ROSES ON TOP OF THE WALNUT CASE AND THEN THEY TOOK THE BIG CRANE AND PUT THE CONCRETE THING ON TOP OF IT, AND IT WAS DONE. SO THAT WAS PRETTY COOL. >>: THE THING THAT WAS INTERESTING WAS THE CLIENT'S REQUEST FOR SECRECY ON THIS. SO THE PIECE WAS DELIVERED AFTER DARK AND WE HAD TO GET UP AND INSTALL IT BEFORE DAYLIGHT THE NEXT DAY SO IT COULD BE COVERED AND NONE OF THE PUBLIC COULD SEE IT. >>: IT WAS AN EARLY MORNING SITUATION BECAUSE WE DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND, AND THE CRANE OPERATOR VERY GINGERLY LIFTED BARBARO, JUST INCHES, LIKE THE SPACE SHUTTLE GOING OUT IN THE SPACE PAD AND PUT DOWN ON THE BASE. THE CRITICAL THING WAS HAS THIS BASE BEEN DESIGNED SO THAT THE LITTLE BOLT AREAS WERE COMPLETELY LINED UP, AND BLINK, THEY FELL RIGHT INTO PLACE. AND THEN WE SORT OF FELT A BIG SIGH OF RELIEF. >>: IT WAS READY TO GO, AND THEY QUICKLY GOT EVERYTHING ELSE DONE, AND THEN THE PIECE WAS FINISHED. SO JOB DONE. [LAUGHTER] IT WAS GREAT. IT WAS, LIKE, REALLY EARLY IN THE MORNING. LIKE, WHAT BAR IS OPEN. WE SHOULD GO CELEBRATE. >>: WE CAME OUT AND PEOPLE HAD BEEN GATHERING IN THE COURTYARD FOR HOURS BEFORE THE UNVEILING WAS ACTUALLY SET. AND REALLY A HUGE COMING TOGETHER OF PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE THAT FELT A CONNECTION TO BARBARO. >>: THEY WERE VERY ANXIOUS TO SEE THE STATUE AND IT HAD BEEN COVERED UP SO NOBODY REALLY SAW WHAT WAS THERE. >>: HE SAYS, "I'M HOME AT LAST. IT IS HERE IN KENTUCKY I ENTERED LIFE. BORN IN A STALL IN A BARN AT FIRST LIGHT. DAYS IN THE GRASS, MY MOTHER NEARBY. IT WAS HERE I RACED AND CAUGHT YOUR EYE. I'VE COME FULL CIRCLE BACK TO THE START, FOR HERE IS MY HOME, AND HERE IS MY HEART." THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE] >>: AND THEY PULLED THOSE SHEETS OFF. YOU JUST STOOD THERE, AND I THOUGHT, I CAN'T BELIEVE MY MOM DID THIS. YOU KNOW THAT SHE WAS CAPABLE OBVIOUSLY AND SHE DID THE JOB, BUT YOU JUST STILL STAND IN FRONT OF IT, AND YOU GO, "WOW. WOW. DID SHE EVER REALLY DO A GOOD JOB ON THIS." >>: I SEE AN INCREDIBLE RACING CHAMPION CAPTURED IN ALL OF HIS GLORY AS HE IS ABOUT TO WIN HIS GREATEST RACE, AND ALEXA CAPTURED THAT IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU DO FEEL THE PASSION AND THE MOMENTUM ON THE TRACK. >>: YOU KNOW, HE OUTRACED THE WIND. HE WENT FASTER THAN THAT. >>: HIS TRAGEDY REALLY HAS BEEN ABLE TO SAVE LOTS OF HORSES' LIVES. THE RESEARCH THAT HAS GONE INTO THE PRESERVATION OF HORSES WHEN THEY COME DOWN WITH LAMINITIS. AND SO I THINK THAT YOU CAN'T SEPARATE THE TWO ANY LONGER. BARBARO'S LIFE IS LIVING ON THROUGH THE PRESERVATION OF OTHER HORSES AND THE REMARKABLE STRIDES THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE WITH LAMINITIS RESEARCH. >>: MY MOM'S LEGACY WILL DEFINITELY TIE INTO THE STATUE. SHE IS NOW WRITTEN IN STONE FOREVER. SHE IS GOING TO BE SOMEBODY THAT THEY LOOK BACK IN THE BOOKS AND PEOPLE WILL HAVE HER ARTWORK FOR YEARS AND WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HER. >>: WHAT SHE HAS CREATED THROUGH THIS TRAGEDY IS IN FACT A HAPPY PLACE FOR HERSELF AND FOR A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS A MARKER OF PERMANENCE AS TO WHAT THIS HORSE MEANT FOR PEOPLE. ["A SONG FOR
BARBARO" PLAYING] ♪ STEPPIN' OUT
INTO THE LIGHT ♪ ♪ MY WHOLE LIFE'S LED
ME TO THIS MOMENT ♪ ♪ I'LL LAY IT ALL
OUT ON THE LINE ♪ ♪ TIME TO SHINE ♪ ♪ TIME TO ROCK
AND ROLL ♪ ♪ I'M FEELIN' A
MILLION BUTTERFLIES ♪ ♪ OH BUT I'VE NEVER
BEEN SO READY ♪ ♪ WATCH ME WHEN I
HIT MY STRIDE ♪ ♪ SPEED OF LIGHT ♪ ♪ YEAH I'M STRONG
AND STEADY ♪ ♪ I LOVE TO RUN ♪ ♪ THERE'S A FEELIN'
THAT DRIVES ME ♪ ♪ A FIRE DOWN
INSIDE ME ♪ ♪ THAT BURNS
LIKE THE SUN ♪ ♪ AND FLY ♪ ♪ I GOTTA FLY ♪ ♪ 'CAUSE FOR ME IT'S
LIKE BREATHIN' ♪ ♪ MY REASON
FOR BEIN' ♪ ♪ WHEN I'M MOST ALIVE ♪ ♪ I LOVE TO RUN ♪ ♪ AND I LOVE TO RUN ♪ ♪ I'M CHALLENGIN'
GRAVITY ♪ ♪ RIDIN' ON
ANGELS' WINGS ♪ ♪ OH YEAH ♪

5 thoughts on “Sculpting the Wind:Alexa King and the Making of the Barbaro Memorial Statue”

  1. Barbaro will never be forgotten! Beautiful memorial! In stone forever….generations to come will see him!

  2. SO HONORED to be a part of this, here's to ROCKSTAR Barbaro & to all of us who FOLLOW our DREAMS & LOVE TO RUN!! templeton thompson & the herd:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tags: , , , , , , ,