The 15-foot tall bronze and Dakota sandstone sculpture was dedicated in December, 1997. A trans morphic depiction of a Ute Medicine Man enveloped by an eagle emerging from a stone monolith. The artwork honors the Utes and their 10,000 year history in Summit County.
For these multi-media works, Denny has developed a patina that matches the unique qualities of the stone, making the materials appear as one.
The artwork was selected from a national competition by The Summit Foundation and Keystone Real Estate Developments for the River Run Events Plaza in Keystone, Colorado.
The NSG design team members for this placement were Denny Haskew, Sculptor, and John W. Kinkade, Executive Director, National Sculptors’ Guild, both of Loveland, Colorado.
like truths inside us all.
Cool air caresses my being,
though these stones warm me.
Mysteries appear to merge,
perhaps an eagle is about to be born.
Stone and feather reaching upward,
drawing me into its presence of Oneness.
Eagle, Stone, Human
All whisper that ancient truth inside us all."
- Denny Haskew
- Original Narrative from the Proposal:
As a Native American, my inspiration for this composition comes from the spiritual traditions of the Ute Tribe and the beauty of the site. Called the Mountain People, the Ute maintained a habitation site that goes back 8,000 to 10,000 years within a stones throw of the River Run Sculpture Site. Found at the site are arrowheads, tool manufacturing implements, paleo Indian projectiles, and many other points.
The sculpture will depict the harmony that we strive to reach with nature by showing a bald eagle sharing its secrets with a Ute medicine man. The eagle's secrets were the source of the medicine man's magical healing powers and were a symbol of vibrant health. The Utes gave their medicine men implicit trust. Medicine men would go into a trance like state to receive the gifts from the eagles and other animals.
A bronze figure, one half Ute brave and one half eagle will emerge from a thirteen-foot high Dakota Sandstone monolith. Several other shorter sandstone monoliths will be grouped around it. In Native American beliefs, each stone has its own energy, soul, and tells its own story.
The image emerging from the stone will appear to be an eagle when viewed from the side, while from the face of the stone a Ute man enveloped by the eagle appears. When viewing the work in the round one will not be able to totally discern that one half of the figure is human and the other bird unless standing directly in front of the monolith from which the bronze figures emerge.
The Utes, eagles, and Dakota sandstone came together in Summit County and the Gore Range. Summit County is a prime area for eagles with the Eagles Nest Wilderness area on the border of the Summit and Eagle counties. The Dakota sandstone is a prevalent material of fossil beds. River Run sits on a 4,000 foot deep fossil bed and layers of Dakota sandstone remain visible to mountain visitors. The Dakota sandstone has also been used as a building material in the surrounding architecture, use of the stone will visually tie into the site.
The Utes were an open-handed and friendly people to the Euro-Americans who settled the area after gold was discovered by the Euro-Americans on August 10, 1859. When the mining insurgence reached about 8,000 people in 1860, the Utes were still friendly and open, requesting that they just have the valleys where the game was. In 1879 the Utes were marched out of Summit County by the United States government and not at the wish of the Summit Euro-Americans. This sculpture honors the Utes and their 10,000 year history in Summit County.
This competition has been both educational and inspirational to me. During my life, I have been a ski instructor as well as a River Ranger for the National Park Service. Studying the Ute tribe and its relationship to this site, and understanding the quality of experience and setting you wish to provide all of the visitors, has provided me an opportunity to convey my own philosophy of the importance of humanity's oneness with nature." -Denny Haskew, National Sculptors' Guild