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July 16, 2020

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Take an Ada art walk

Part 2 in a series on The Remington Walk

Summer is a great time to explore the art spread across the Ada community – especially for viewers unable to visit art galleries elsewhere in Ohio.

As a weekly series, The Icon will feature the art located on The Remington Walk on the Ohio Northern University campus. For some viewers, this series is familiar. For others, it may be a first-time experience. 

Either way, it’s an opportunity to take a walk and view some art that is uniquely Ada. The Walk is spread through campus and may be viewed by following the ONU walking path, beginning near Affinity Village, west of The Freed Center.

The cast bronze reproductions include 10 by Frederick Remington, “Stagecoach,” by Charles Russell, and “End of the Trail,” by James Frazer.

The information about the Remington Walk is provided by ONU.

Today’s artist
Frederic Remington 1861-1909 – “He knew the horse.” 

At age 19 on his first trip west, he realized that the railroad was encroaching and that the frontier he loved was continuing to recede and that soon there would be no more West— and that’s why he began to try and record some facts about what was around him. He says that he saw the living, breathing end of three American centuries of smoke, dust and sweat. 

Remington did over 2,700 sketches, drawings and paintings and wrote several books portraying the western way of life he loved. 

He was born in the east and fell in love with the west, making frequent trips west to document what he saw. That is why with all of his art he shared something that had touched him to tell it as a first-hand story. 

He began as an illustrator and did not begin sculpting until he was 33. He only sculpted for 15 years before he died and in that time did 18 bronzes. ONU has reproductions of 10 of them. 

He never forgot to include nature—the mystery of the untouched plains and unscaled mountain heights in his work. 

Key note:  Sometimes his themes were historical or psychological or sentimental but it was always about the horse. Remington firmly established the true place of the horse in the history of the West. 

Today’s featured work
The Outlaw – 1906 (#10) by Frederick Remington 

An Outlaw does not refer to the cowboy but to the horse—a horse that refuses to be broken—the challenge of every rough string rider and drunken cowboy. 

An Outlaw is “locoed” (crazy) and out to get this man and doesn’t care if it kills him in doing it! The Outlaw places the rider in unexpected gravitational position of an almost vertical stand! 

Note: The horse is virtually anchored on one front hoof with the other elevated slightly. 

While this sculpture is all about a stubborn and unyielding horse, it also shows that the rough string rider has removed his Colt 45 with holster and belt to let him get down to the business of trying to break this horse that refuses to be broken. 

This sculpture was placed away from the general vicinity of the other sculptures with the horse facing away from the Green Monster in a subtle hint that this is a horse with a stubborn streak. 

The Remington Walk background
The Walk was a gift to ONU from Jim and Eilleen Dicke of New Bremen, Ohio. It was dedicated at the 2007 homecoming.

Sites for each sculpture were selected by Toby Baker, wife of the president of ONU at the time of creation of this series, with the assistance of Tony Wolke, director of Grounds and Assistant Director of Physical Plant at ONU.

CLICK HERE to view the first installment in this series.