HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A maritime museum in Wisconsin reached out to a woman from South Mississippi to make a statue of a commercial fisherman. Bronze artists who make statues are hard to find. It's a centuries old technique and art form.
A bronze statue of Pierre Le Moyne D'Iberville, who was credited with discovering what is now the Mississippi Coast in 1699, stands outside of the Biloxi Visitor's Center. A bronze statue of Colonel Lawrence Roberts, a proud Tuskegee Airmen, tells the Colonel's story on the second floor of the Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. Both were made by bronze artist Mary Ott Davidson.
Davidson is currently working on the life-size statue of the commercial fisherman in her Gulf Coast studio. Once finished, the statue will be heading north.
"There is an area in Wisconsin known as Door County. It juts out with Lake Michigan on one side and Green Bay on the other. At the very end is Gills Rock. The statue will be there in front of the Maritime Museum," said Davidson.
The bronze masterpieces pay tribute to mythical and actual figures. Davidson has been working with bronze and making statues for years.
The form is fashioned in clay then turned into a mold. Two thousand degrees of heat turn the bronze into a liquid poured into the form, and a statue is cast. Mary loves and respects the process.
"It's the most exhilarating experience. Maybe I'm a power maniac because I don't mind the heat. The process is very labor intensive," Davidson said.
Davidson has spent 13 months working on this commercial fisherman statue for the Wisconsin museum. What will be the next step for Davidson?
"We're off to a foundry near Atlanta. There are about four stages for the casting," said Davidson.
Mary's statue will mean as much to the people of Door County, Wisconsin as D'Iberville does to the people of the Mississippi Coast.