Artist John Lopez figured there was no better way to depict a bear mauling than with a 3-D collage of scrap metal.
When he heard that we were doing a piece on Hugh Glass, South Dakota sculptor John Lopez quickly sent me an email. A lifelong resident of Lemmon, a small town just north of the Grand River National Grassland, he had just attended the inaugural Hugh Glass Rendezvous in Shadehill, near the very grounds where Glass was mauled by the bear. His contribution to the event was a new sculpture that will be on permanent display at the Grand River Museum in Lemmon: a stunning representation of the frontiersman attempting to fend off the grizzly’s attack, crafted from scrap metal and cast bronze.
Lopez also sent along a video (you can view it on our website at www.cowboysindians.com) in which he makes a few comments about the film’s fictional depiction of his home state:
“The movie is going to show mountains, and trees, and wintertime. But in reality, it happened here, in South Dakota. On the Grand River, where the North and South Fork of the Grand River come together to form one river, the Grand River. [In the video, the camera pans across the rolling prairie grassland.] Today it’s known as Shadehill Reservoir, and the very spot where Hugh Glass was mauled is underwater. But everybody in the community here is very excited about this — after the movie comes out, everybody is going to know who Hugh Glass was. And we want everyone to know that this is where it happened, 12 miles south of Lemmon, South Dakota.”
We want everyone to know that despite British comedian John Oliver’s many recent jokes about South Dakota, Lemmon is well worth a visit — to stand on the ground where Hugh Glass crawled for his life, and to view Lopez’s striking sculpture that commemorates him.