|The end is nothing; the road is all. Willa Cather|
My words don't feel adequate to describe the urgency, the exhaustion, the struggle, and tenacity that radiates from the faces of these pioneers whose stories are captured in bronze by the artists. So I turned to Willa Cather, a pioneer herself in writing, to describe this life in Nebraska.
"There was nothing but land; not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made."
Willa Cather's words from My Antonia.
"What I like about the story of the great wagon train migration across America is the daring, the tenacity and the innovativeness of the pioneer spirit that opened the West." Bruce Lauritzen, Chairman, First National Bank
We wanted to encourage people to participate in the Sculpture, to imagine what it must have been like to be a pioneer.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS by Blair Buswell, Sculpture
The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman. Willa Cather
If visitors stopped here, thinking that it's the end of the trail, it's like not finishing the story. In real life and in the heart of these sculptures the pioneers continued to travel westward along the path filled with heart aches and dreams.
As the pioneers traversed the prairie they encountered the massive herds of buffalo, and the sculptures show this story. Walking down the streets we followed the herd of bronzed buffaloes racing through the heart of the city of Omaha and we gazed with delight when the geese took flight before our very eyes.
On our walk that day along the trail we searched for shade and relief from the blistering July sun. Touching the cool waterfalls from the last series of sculptures refreshed us.
"We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it--for a little while." Willa Cather, O'Pioneers!
O'Pioneers, how did the artists bring this to life? What skills and perseverance they must have to successfully tackle a story this gigantic and touch our souls with those who walked the same lands centuries ago.
"Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky." Willa Cather
Click on the colored links below to learn more about this amazing park and the works of Willa Cather.
Willa Cather link to other books
Sculpture Park story
Spirit of Nebraska Wilderness Park
Laura Bush recalls Willa Cather's characters