Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte sculpture donor Larry Small was honored at the annual Lincoln Mayor’s Arts Awards event held November 8. He received the Benefactor of the Arts award for his generous gift recognizing the trailblazing Native physician. Pictured above are Mr. Small and NCIA Executive Director Judi M. gaiashkibos with Arts Award artwork presented to Mr. Small at the event.
Below is a excerpt from his nomination which was submitted by the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs.
Long time community advocate Larry Small has a long history of giving back to his community to make Lincoln a better place. Moved by the story of Dr. La Flesche as a pioneering Native doctor, he saw her as an inspiration and a role model. He felt that the best way to reach people with this story was through art, specifically sculpture. He believes that the ability of the artist to facilitate the interaction between the viewer and the historic figure through an emotional connection was the essential power of public art, as he says “the whole point of it”! Mr. Small stated that he wants art to educate the viewer about this historic figure, and with an emotional feel, as he stated “that’s what makes it stick, that’s what leads people to want to learn more.” “When public art is done right by an artist such as Ben Victor,” Small remarked “that history and the art, mixed with emotion, bring a synergy to the viewer and WOW, you feel it”. That’s what he hopes his gift will provide.