Looking for a way to commemorate the dedication of the cowboys who brought prosperity to the area, the City of Pendleton commissioned local artist Michael Booth to create a sculpture depicting the arduous task of driving cattle in times of western drought. Completed in 1999, his realistic take on the subject is the full-color, four-ton, panoramic installation that you see before you.
Drawing upon the iconic buckaroo image illustrated by Wallace Smith in 1924, this hand-shaped cement statue features a cowboy atop a wild bucking bronc. Conceived of by community college art professor Michael Booth, the work was completed with the assistance of local prison inmates.
The “Let ‘er Buck” illustration was first drawn by Wallace Smith and sold for $250 to the Pendleton Round-Up in 1925. Smith was later inducted into the Round-Up Hall of Fame. Commemorated in 2010, the 3000-pound statue before you was crafted by famed artist Austin Barton, and brings Smith’s iconic image to life.
To celebrate this beautiful bird’s presence in the area, the Pendleton Bird Club sought to create this statue. The scenic Pendleton Riverwalk hosts one of the largest rookeries this bird has in the state. The Pendleton Bird Club consulted with the Pendleton Arts Commission to select the specific bronze. The result is a detailed scene of two courting blue herons that was cast in bronze by Michael Maiden and dedicated in 2011.
Seeking to inspire an artistic nature in the people of his hometown, statue maker Steven Lloyd Neal crafted the Arts Inspiration Monument. Featuring the mythological Greek musician Orpheus, the monument shows him playing his flute for joy-filled children. Neal’s concept visually illustrates the metaphor of music giving inspirational wings to the listener. Arts Inspiration is located in front of the Vert Auditorium, which is home to the Oregon East Symphony and other performing arts.
This modern concrete sculpture is an abstract figure of a person daydreaming and represents man’s tendency toward meditative or deep thought. The creator Michael Booth is a local artist and teacher at Blue Mountain Community College. Working closely with inmates from EOCI to sculpt statues like The Dreamer, Booth encourages the crafting of works of art with an emphasis on creative design and inspiration. The projects help the inmates rehabilitate and contribute to the community.
To commemorate the early pioneers, this statue of an Oregon Trail wagon master on a horse was crafted by Michael Booth and his sculpture class. This piece represents Pendleton’s important role as a trading post for some of the first pioneers that passed through. Here they were able to stock up on crucial supplies during their long journeys West.
Depicting a classic western scene, this mural outside of the Great Pacific Cafe, is a representation of Pendleton as a bustling old western town. Painted by Roger Cooke, its purpose was to commemorate the town’s rich western heritage and add beauty to Pendleton’s downtown.
A town once famous for its bootlegging and bordellos, Pendleton was considered by cowboys of the time to be the entertainment capital of the Northwest. Among the 32 saloons and 18 brothels that called Pendleton home, the most notorious of these was Madame Darby’s Cozy Rooms. This statue of Madame Darby, though a bit controversial, reminds visitors of a more colorful part of Pendleton’s history. Stella Darby stands proudly at the entrance to her risqué establishment. The Stella Darby bronze is also the only privately owned statue on the Pendleton Bronze Trail, and is dedicated to Pam Severe, who established the Working Girls Hotel and dedicated her life to preserving Pendleton’s underground history.
A Mobius strip is a single sided figure similar to an infinity loop. This cut and shaped steel sculpture was crafted by Wayne Tayson, an art professor at OSU, in 1981. Bas Relief Bronze plaques are arranged around the base show major events and people of Pendleton. The figure represents longevity and was created to commemorate Pendleton’s centennial from 1880 to 1980.