No public funding was available to do the work, so it was my intention to use the small models to raise the required funding to build the monument. It was then that my troubles began. Walt Smith, a political appointee to head up the Utah Arts Council, began an aggressive press campaign to stop the project. In his various comments to the press, he said, "We need to have a competition." "Ed Fraughton is trying to buy his way into art history." When the press approached me and asked for my side of the controversy, my response was, "What controversy? There is no controversy. Either the community wants the sculpture, or they do not." Needless to say, Walt and the Arts Council got their wish. The project never took place.
Despite the politics, I believe this is one of the finest pieces I have ever created. Half man, half bird, it is a perfect evolution and combination of abstract design and realism to complement the intended architectural environment. I believe The Spirit of Man would have made an ideal artistic focal point to the otherwise stark concrete and brick environment. To help explain the piece, I attached the following inscription:
||Copyright © 2006 Edward J. Fraughton All Rights Reserved|