Thomas Hunter Memorial Sculpture Dedicated
About 150 family, friends and others gathered Friday, June 11, to remember the life of Thomas Hunter and to view the unveiling and dedication of a 6-foot-tall bronze sculpture in his likeness. The sculpture will be on permanent display outside the Creighton University Cardiac Center.
Creighton physicians William and Claire Hunter commissioned the sculpture to commemorate the life of their 11-year-old son Thomas, who died March 13, 2008. Thomas would have turned 14 on June 12.
Noted Omaha sculptor and family friend Littleton Alston created the statue. Alston, a Creighton associate professor of sculpture, is the artist for such Omaha works as statues of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (City-County Building) and St. Ignatius (Creighton University) as well as “Jazz” (Dreamland Park) and ”On the Wings of Angels 911 Memorial” (City-County Building). Alston said the experience of creating the statue of Thomas was an extremely emotional journey for him.
The sculpture shows a young boy walking, surround by nature and the things Thomas loved. In the left arm is a basket, holding seeds and shells, while the right hand is tossing nuts to two squirrels and a bird. The statue is positioned in front of trees and bushes, making it appear that Thomas is emerging from a forest.
“This sculpture has been extremely special and has really drawn a lot out of me in my understanding of what sculpture is about, the role of sculpture in society, and that art and sculpture are an essential part of us remembering,,” he said.
Since Thomas Hunter’s untimely death, numerous private donations have helped fund the sculpture as well as two scholarships in his memory, one at Creighton University School of Medicine and the other at Omaha Public School’s King Science & Technology Magnet Center, where Thomas was a student.
Interview with artist Littleton Alston: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-EMsPAPqNo