Local Artist Poised to Get Nod for Reagan Statue

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The Newport Beach Independent has obtained the proposal and photographs of a proposed statue of former President Ronald Reagan that is fast becoming the odds-on favorite to be the one chosen by the City to commemorate the former President’s 100th Centennial.

Miriam Baker, Proposal for Ronald Regan Statue

A mock-up, or maquette, of Miriam Baker's proposed statue of President Reagan.

The city Art Commission recommended artist Miriam Baker to the city last Friday, and statements by other officials indicate the recommendation will be accepted.

“I think we have a consensus among the parties,” said Arts Commissioner Christopher Trela this week.

Photographs of what the statue may ultimately look like are contained within a proposal submitted to the city by local Newport Beach artist and sculptor Miriam Baker of Balboa Island.

Baker sculpted the scale models, known as “maquettes,” as a sample of what the final statue may look like. Baker and over a dozen other artists from around the country are vying for the project. Baker has previously rendered a bust of the President Reagan which is displayed at Chapman University in Orange.

Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry, who began the project to erect a Reagan statue memorial earlier this year, said yesterday, “Both the donors and I are very pleased with the selection. Miriam did a great job on the Reagan piece at Chapman, and I know she will do a good job for the city.”

According to Baker a slightly different version of the statue, with the former President waving as opposed to giving the ‘thumbs up’ gesture will most likely be what the final version of the memorial will look like if she is tapped by City Manager Dave Kiff to create the statue.

Kiff was given the final say in the artist selection by the City Council when it OK’d the memorial for Castaways Park in February.

The group of private donors has put up $50,000 for the creation of the statue.

 

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