A new landmark showcasing Manitowoc's heritage will be enjoyed for generations to come and residents have 1960 Lincoln High School alumnus R.T. ("Skip") Wallen to thank for it.
Wallen, an internationally known sculptor and wildlife artist, created the "Spirit of the Rivers" bronze monument installed in the past month at 4815 Memorial Drive, Two Rivers near the Manitowoc-Two Rivers border. The 30-ton sculpture features a 10-foot tall Native American couple foraging a 20-foot tall birch bark canoe and being greeted ashore by an elder. The monument is lit at night and surrounded by commemorative bricks listing private donors who helped make the nine-year, $1 million project a reality. A dedication ceremony was held Sunday, Sept. 16.
Wallen, 76, was born and raised in Manitowoc and his mother was a secretary for the School Board. After graduating from Lincoln and UW-Madison, Wallen moved to Alaska where he worked as a wildlife biologist and famous artist.
Manitowoc Lincoln is grateful and proud that R.T. Wallen is one of our alumni!!
See great photos and a Herald Times Reporter story from Sunday's dedication ceremony. Learn more on the Spirit of the Rivers Facebook page and in this HTR cover story and videos. Photos are courtesy of the Spirit of the Rivers Facebook page.
Monument at night; Joe Metzen (left) congratulates R.T. Wallen on his legacy hometown project.