A Pioneering Spirit

A Pioneering Spirit

Creighton professor Littleton Alston, MFA, will be the first African American sculptor to have a piece in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., when his commissioned 7-foot bronze statue of American novelist Willa Cather is installed next year.

The Willa Cather National Statuary Hall Selection Committee worked with the Nebraska Arts Council to select Alston from among 70 artist applicants nationwide.

The hall’s collection features two statues of historical figures from each state. Last year, the Nebraska Legislature approved replacing statues of Julius Sterling Morton and William Jennings Bryan with Cather and Ponca Chief Standing Bear. Cather, who settled with her family in Nebraska in 1883, achieved literary acclaim for her depiction of frontier life.

“I aim to capture her standing, as if surrounded by nature, at home in the Nebraska prairie,” says Alston.