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This work was originally titled "Kite Dog" – it was created to go with another of the sculptor's pieces known as "Kite Children". According to the artist, Gary Lee Price, '…the dog is running along and jumping with the kids as they fly their kites. I felt that it would add to the sculpture's overall feeling as most children have a dog at home that is really part of the family.'
Gary Lee Price
Originally donated in 1997, and replaced after a theft in 2009.
About the Artist
Known for a wide array of sculpture subjects, Gary Price creates children, wildlife, Native Americans, and bas reliefs of floral subjects. He is best known for images of young people in the celebration of life. The work ranges in size from a foot high to outdoor monumental and reflects his Mormon Church heritage, not in a literal doctrinal sense, but in an overall positive expression of respect and love for life. His goal is to uplift the human spirit through sculpture. Having survived a tragic and tormented childhood, Gary who is a loving father to four sons with wife Lanea, believes it should be in inalienable right that all children in the world have beautiful childhoods. "What an incredible world we would have if that were the case!" Price is quoted to have said in the Arts of the West Magazine in September of 1993.
Donated in Memory of Friends
"Playful Pup" is an edition of 14 out of 30. It has a patina with sealer and a paste wax to protect against the weather. It was donated to the City by long-time residents Loyal and Marj Moore, in honor and memory of their friends Louise and Nancy. Price's artistic style is uplifting and joyful. His pieces convey movement and appear to be suspended in time.In 2009, "Playful Pup" was stolen, the thief pulled the bronze dog and its base completely out of the ground. The generous donors Loyal and Marj purchased a replacement pup by the original artist to give the community back the sculpture they greatly missed from the theft.
Grouped Together with "Stepping Forward"
"Playful Pup" is grouped with another sculpture titled "Stepping Forward" by artist Dennis Smith which depicts a young girl in a frilly dress stepping forward and smiling. Both are dedicated to the same friends of Loyal and Marj Moore, Louise and Nancy.
Where Is It?
The sculpture is located in Aubrey Davis Park (formerly known as "The Park on the Lid"), just off West Mercer along with the sculpture "Stepping Forward".