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Sculptor works to bring bronze memorial to Veterans Memorial Park

Dec 08, 2016 02:20PM ● Published by Tori LaRue

Sculptor Dan Snarr’s bronze memorial “Proud” stands at a park in Garden City, Utah. Snarr is fundraising to bring a second cast of the same statue to West Jordan. (Dan Snarr)

Gallery: Sculptor works to bring bronze memorial to Veterans Memorial Park [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


Sculptor Dan Snarr’s monuments can be found across the country, but he said he’s excited to be bringing one to West Jordan Veterans Memorial Park. 

Gaye Johnson commissioned Snarr to create a bronze monument of her, father Robert Calder, a World War II veteran, for a park in Garden City, Utah. After the 12-foot sculpture was placed, Johnson gave Snarr the rights to place a second casting at a location of his choice. 

“I wanted to place the piece in West Jordan because I was practically raised at the ball diamonds right by the Veterans (Memorial) Park,” he said. “We had 10 kids in our family, and all of us played little league at South Jordan Park and West Jordan Park, so putting a piece there would be like putting it right in my hometown.” 

Snarr sought no money from the city but asked for a letter of recommendation from the mayor to begin raising the $60,000 needed for the statue. When Snarr’s project idea came before the city council on June 22, it passed unanimously. 

“I have always been a fan of the bronze statues,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said. “I think they just speak legions for the community and bring us together, so I am excited to even help try to fundraise for that particular one. I think placing the statue is the smallest amount we can do for those who have given all, or those that continue to give all, for our entire nation.” 

Snarr began fundraising for the bronze sculpture around Veterans Day by talking to local businesses about the project. While he’s not sure how long it will take to gather donations, he said it will only take three months to complete the statue after the donations are gathered because the mold has already been created. He hopes the bronze infantryman will call the Veteran’s Memorial Park home by Independence Day. 

The sculpture depicts a soldier holding a rifle and American Flag. The soldier reaches about 8 feet in height, and the flag extends another 4. With a pedestal that’s 7 feet tall, the display will tower at about 20 feet. 

Snarr came up with this design by hearing Johnson describe Calder’s experiences in the war. Calder was shot while fighting in France and later fell down an elevator shaft while clearing a building, breaking both of his legs and his back. Although he remembered the sacrifices he made for the country, he rarely spoke of them, according to Johnson. 

From Johnson’s stories about her father, Snarr said got the sense that Calder was proud to service his country yet humbled by his experiences. This is why Snarr named the sculpture “Proud” and depicted the man confidently looking forward.

“During the project, I started to realize that Calder could be a representative of all World War II vets,” Snarr said. “That’s when I talked to Gaye about casting a second statue, and she was all for it.” 

While Snarr’s had several occupations during his career, he said nothing’s more satisfying than bringing a bronze memorial to a deserving community. 

“It’s just that feeling that what I am creating is meaningful,” he said. “It’s that feeling that one person can come see my creation and cry because they see their relative in it. I used to think it was sad, but now I see it as giving people a way to cope, a way to heal.” 

Snarr works out of a studio in Midvale where he houses the miniature model for “Proud.” To learn more about his artwork or the statue that will be placed in Veteran’s Memorial Park, visit dansnarr.com or send an email to dan@dansnarr.com.   

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