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"Remington Walk" Brings the Spirit of the West to ONU's Green Monster

Over the years, the Green Monster, Ohio Northern University's beloved jogging path, has felt many footsteps upon its emerald tread, and this fall's addition of 12 western-themed statues will add horses' hooves to the list.

"It's all about the horse," said ONU first lady, Mrs. Toby Baker, of the twelve cast bronze statues by noted western artists Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and James Fraser. The statues depict scenes of riders and warriors, outlaws and broncos, each one meticulously crafted to represent the mystique of the American west.

The 12 statues, gifts from the James F. Dicke family, are interspersed along the path of the Green Monster, beginning at Stadium View Apartments and continuing to Dial-Roberson Stadium. Baker said the project, which is aptly dubbed "The Remington Walk" for the 10 Remington reproductions it features, has been a long time coming to fruition. Baker, who selected the statues and serves as curator, has worked extensively for the past year to integrate the art into Ohio Northern's campus.

"Placement of the statues is crucial," she explained. "They need to be close enough for people to enjoy without hindering the Green Monster's recreational purpose."

Recognizing that the statues will be enhanced by their environment, Baker continued, saying, "The Green Monster is perfect because it is highly visible. Here the statues can change with the seasons and become immersed in their environment. I hope that everyone, even those who use the Monster regularly, will see something different each time they walk past. That's really the hallmark of great art."

Remington, often referred to as the father of American western art, was originally from the east, but came westward near the turn of the 20th century. He witnessed the slow disappearance of an unsettled, uncharted American lifestyle, as well as the Native American way of life. The American Bronco, the magnificent and untamed horse that was a fixture of the west, vanished as well. Today patrons of Remington celebrate his foresight in capturing the west's tragic history.

"Remington's work is filled with such spirit and emotion. People are often distracted by the glamour of the cowboy, but Remington reminds us it was the horse that built the west," said Baker, a Wyoming native. "In the same way that the horse is part of the west's history, the Green Monster is a part of campus folklore, making it the perfect showcase for these rare statues."

Remington produced 22 sculptures in his brief, albeit prolific career. ONU now features 10 reproductions. "To have so many statues in one place, especially such important historical pieces - I think that's fantastic," said Baker.

Written by Autumn Steiner
Junior, professional writing
Bluffton, Ohio