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Ozarks Life: Doug Cox’s Stainless Steel Sculptures

The Republic artist will be featured for a 7th year in Sculpture Walk Springfield.
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 9:21 AM CDT
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REPUBLIC, Mo. (KY3) - Spring in Springfield has sprung.

A casual stroll down a city street - and you can see flowers, and more flowers, and art.

“It makes it like a metropolitan community to me,” sculptor Doug Cox said.

Cox creates some of these creations found downtown. They’re all a part of Sculpture Walk Springfield. Peculiar pieces sprinkled across Springfield. He has one right now on Booneville Avenue near Water Street: “Mick the Frog Takes a Holiday.”

“Large frog with the Rolling Stones logo, tongue and lips logo, and it’s about 13 and a half foot tall,” Cox said.

One man’s stainless steel scraps are Doug’s soon-to-be sculpture.

“Stainless will never rust,” Cox. “It’ll last forever. So these will still be around hopefully in 100 to 200 years.”

He turned his professional talent of welding, grinding, and finishing into his part-time passion. Some of his past Sculpture Walk Springfield pieces are now retired in his backyard.

Doug has had at least one piece in all the seven years of Sculpture Walk Springfield, and that’s from submissions from around the world.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” Cox said. “I did sculptures for about 20 years prior to that and submitted a lot and got turned down dozens and dozens of times. And I was really glad (Sculpture Walk Springfield) came out.”

Like many artists, Doug’s beauty was born from shock.

“I had two friends,” Cox said, “they passed away. And at the early ages; 35 I believe. And I was 35. And I wanted to leave some sort of legacy or memory of me. I guess in my art and so that’s why I kind of started doing the larger-scale sculptures.”

This year, his piece is a reminder for us all to enjoy what we have and each other. A Nick Lowe song, later covered by Elvis Costello “What’s So Funny Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding.”

I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time,” Cox said. “But it seems like the division in the country right now is astounding to me and I thought it’d be a welcome sight.”

Seven hundred hours went into this two-piece sculpture. The peace sign and heart is the focal point with a pair of bunnies off to its side.

“The two rabbits will be going with this and the smaller rabbit will kind of represent the new generation,” Cox said.

You can see more of Doug’s work by clicking here to visit his website.

Next week, Doug’s new sculpture will be placed near the square along with other pieces of art. The 7th annual Sculpture Walk Springfield will have an unveiling ceremony next Saturday, April 23, at 5 p.m. at Park Central Square. The event will feature music, food, and fun.

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