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Bronze Obama Statue Features First Female In City Of Presidents

The bronze statue of former President Barack Obama was unveiled in Rapid City this weekend. It took two years to capture what organizers call the ‘wow factor’. This statue brings something new to the Downtown area. 


“You’re a lucky group today because you get to see President Obama before anybody else.” 

More than 300 people fill the Elks Theater for a glimpse of the new bronze statue. There’s a patriotic opening ceremony. 


Dallerie Davis is a Cofounder and the Artist Liaison with the City of Presidents. She says coming up with the concept for this statue wasn’t an easy feat. The original idea was Obama standing and waving, until Davis and the artist saw the mock up. 


“One of us said ‘this is boring’.” 


Davis says they decided it was missing something. She says there are two foolproof ways to remedy a boring statue. 


“You can either add a dog or you can add a child.” 


The two decided to add Obama’s youngest daughter-Sasha. Sasha is the first female included in the City of Presidents sculpture project. 


“President Obama is now destined to be a wow factor statue.” 


The crowd gives a standing ovation when the bronze is revealed. The artist of the statue, James Van Nuys, says he based it on an image of Obama holding his daughter’s hand during his first inauguration. What stood out to Van Nuys was...


“Sasha, walking on the stage and being excited as only a little kid can be.” 


He says as a father, he felt a connection to the image. 


“When my daughter was a little kid she was literally my best friend. So a dad with his daughter has a kind of special meaning for me.” 

The new statue is being installed Monday Morning on the corner of St. Joseph and Fourth Street in Rapid City.