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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- A work by St. George sculptor Edward Hlavka will be displayed when the National Museum of the American Indian opens at the Smithsonian Institution this September.
Hlavka's 191/2-foot bronze of George Washington, Oneida Iroquois Chief Skenandoah and Oneida woman Polly Cooper will be placed on the fourth floor in the Washington, D.C., museum
The sculpture is being cast this week in Hlavka's St. George studio and will be bronzed in Springville. It is to be ready for the museum's opening Sept. 21.
Hlavka said he was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution and members of the Iroquois Nation to portray the kinship between the Iroquois and George Washington and the Continental Army.
Skenandoah and Cooper aided Washington's sick and starving soldiers wintering at Valley Forge from 1777 to 1778.
Hlavka completed the sculpture in four months, adhering to guidelines as to what items had to be included.
The sculpture includes a wolf, bear and turtle, signifying three clans of the Iroquois.
Weapons of war are shown buried at the feet of the three prominent figures under the roots of the tree of peace. Washington holds a wampum belt, which promised peace between the United States and the Iroquois.
Hlavka said he had difficulty situating the items within the size specifications. The circle at the base of the sculpture had to be 41/2 feet in diameter.
"It had to look natural to the eye when it wouldn't be that way in real life," he said.
Hlavka, who has been sculpting for 21 years, moved to St. George six years ago from South Dakota for opportunities to sculpt for casinos, which he did for a year.
His work has included a broad range of public and privately commissioned sculptures.
He is preparing sculptures to be placed in the new Dixie Regional Medical Center and in front of a Zions Bank branch in St. George.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)