Ozarks Life: The scar on Doug Cox’s steel sculpture

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 8:34 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2022 at 12:13 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - All summer long, folks can enjoy Sculpture Walk Springfield, a collection of art featured across downtown.

For the past month-and-a-half, downtown Springfield has been sprinkled with sculptures.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Republic artist Doug Cox said. “I like it. All 23 or 26 new sculptures a year downtown.”

Cox’s latest piece for Sculpture Walk Springfield is at the corner of Booneville and Olive.

“I appreciate Sculpture Walk Springfield giving me a chance to exhibit again this year,” Cox said. “It’s wonderful. I was really looking forward to seeing it stood-up, and it’s a lot straighter than I thought it might be having to build them horizontally.”

We met Doug back in April (Click here to watch that story.) He uses his professional talent for welding, grinding, and finishing to finish this stainless steel sculpture. The heart and peace sign was so tall that he had to use a winch to fit it horizontally in his outbuilding.

This large-scale art form was born from sorrow.

“I had two friends,” Cox said. “They passed away at the early ages of 35. And I was 35. And I wanted to leave some sort of legacy or memory of me.”

His latest piece is an ode to a favorite song, Nick Lowe’s “What’s So Funny Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding.” But recently, his piece of art received an addition.

“(It) discolored it a little bit,” Cox said, “dented it.”

A stray bullet Fired for some reason. It hit this sculpture in the large heart.

Two people died in a shootout at the parking lot next to this sculpture in mid-May.

“It seems like the epitome of irony,” Cox said, “That’s kind of sad, sad commentary about everything these days.”

As far as if he’ll buff or polish the dent out?

“Right now, I think I’m gonna leave it,” Cox said. “And next time I have a plaque up for it, I’ll write a little something about what happened.”

A plaque that everyone, including future generations, can read, like the two rabbits at the front of Cox’s sculpture.

“The smaller rabbit will kind of represent the new generation,” Cox said.

This is the seventh year for Sculpture Walk Springfield, and Doug has had a piece displayed every year. The exhibit brings in works from all around the world.

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