Sculptor proposes artwork for site where Confederate monument used to sit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City native and sculptor has an idea of what could fill the space where a Confederate monument once sat on Ward Parkway.

During the last decade, organizations from across the country and right here in our area have commissioned works from E.S. Schubert Sculpture Studios.

About two months ago, co-owner Spencer Schubert received a call from a county in a southern state asking if he could recreate a sculpture of a confederate figure.

“I said, 'Absolutely not. We’re not going to do that for you.' But it got me thinking about how to go about helping cities that have taken down monuments, replace them with something that is uplifting,” Schubert said. 

Including in Kansas City, where in late August the United Daughters of the Confederacy removed their monument along Ward Parkway after vandals defaced it. 

41 Action News has learned it’s now being stored by the organization in St. Louis. 

The site on Ward Parkway has sat vacant without anyone interested in it until now. 

“The struggle is in the creation of the idea,” Schubert said. “Once I have a vision of it then execution is pretty easy.” 

Schubert would like to place an 18-foot sculpture of two hands attached by a knotted rope at the site. 

“The idea of grasping someone’s hand, about reaching out your hand, it’s part of the canon, it’s part of something we all understand,” Schubert said.

The Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department told 41 Action News Monday they first learned of Schubert’s proposal through an e-mail in September.

On Monday morning, a KCMO Parks & Rec. representative visited Schubert’s studio in the Crossroads to look at a model of the sculpture. 

However, there are no concrete plans to move forward just yet. If they do, there’s a formal process to complete. 

“We are all in this together and so really anything that I can do to help make it a more beautiful place and to strengthen our bonds is something that I’m interested in doing,” Schubert said.

Schubert added if he does ever receive the go-ahead for the sculpture it would take about a year to a year-and-a-half to complete.

He also plans to donate a majority of his time.

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