Sculpture will put Walkers back in GJ

Cast in history

Photo special to The Daily Sentinel
ABOVE, sculptor Michael McCullough works on a piece honoring former Daily Sentinel publishers Walter and Preston Walker.

Former Daily Sentinel Publisher Walter Walker will return to Main Street this week, when a sculpture depicting him and his son, Preston, is unveiled Friday.

The depiction of the two publishers, part of the Legends of the Grand Valley, is a project of Art on the Corner and the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture, Downtown Development Authority, Mesa State College and Museum of the West.

It’s more than a mere metallic likeness of the man who ran The Sentinel from 1911 to 1956 and who represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate. The Walter Walker depiction, and the other Legends, will be active sculptures, said Tillie Bishop, chairman of the Legends committee.

“They’re not just busts,” he said. “We’re capturing the people who gave the community something very substantial.”

The sculpture at 634 Main St. will show Walter Walker and his 4-year-old son, Preston,
perched on his father’s shoulders.

It will be unveiled at 5 p.m.

The depiction of the Walkers is the first of five sculptures planned by the committee.

William Moyer, whose Fair Store downtown was long a leading retailer for the region and for whom the swimming pool at Lincoln Park is named, also will be depicted in a sculpture to be unveiled in 2009.

Sister Mary Balbina Farrell, the first superior of St. Mary’s Hospital, will be next. Her sculpture is to be unveiled in 2010.

Then, in 2011, comes John Otto, whose campaign to have the wildlands south of Grand Junction set aside as a national monument bore fruit in 1911 with President Taft’s designation of Colorado National Monument.

In 2012, the Operation Foresight founders, who redesigned Grand Junction’s Main Street, will be unveiled.

Walker used his post as Sentinel publisher to promote the political and economic independence of the Western Slope.

He was a leader in the establishment of Mesa College, now Mesa State College; Walker Field, now Grand Junction Regional Airport; the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Avalon Theater.

The sculptures planned by the Legends committee build on the sculptures of City Manager Joe Lacy, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, Grand Junction founder George Crawford and Ute Indian Tribe chief Ouray and his wife, Chipeta.

The renditions of the Walkers is being sculpted by Ridgway sculptor Michael McCullough.

People can contribute to the “5 in 5” campaign in care of the Downtown Development Authority at 248 S. Fourth St., Grand Junction 81501.


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