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'Two Boys on Stilts' -- Layton City Hall's unique statue
Rising upward at the front and center of Layton City Hall are “Two Boys on Stilts,” a unique statue the City acquired in the early 1990s.
Located in between the flower gardens and front walkway, this bronze sculpture is often unnoticed and unheralded, blending in so well with the surroundings.
This sculpture – now symbolizing an upward looking City, that includes many children -- was created by Lindon, Utah artist Dennis Smith in 1980.
It was originally produced for a former Layton business, American Savings, a savings and loan company, which was one of the original occupants of the south side of the Layton Hills Mall when it first opened.
American Savings wanted such a large sculpture at the front of its office, since Layton’s location was its 25th.
However, the company was soon bought out by an Oregon Company. Layton resident Dick Cook learned the new owners would be selling the sculpture and so he told Layton City Councilwoman Lyndia Graham about it.
Graham bid on the artwork and eventually the city adopted it and placed it at its current location in front of City Hall in the early 1990s, not long after City Hall opened in 1989.
When the statue was unveiled, some Layton High School students were part of the audience. Smith was there too and he talked to the students in particular, about the importance of education and also of striving for whatever they dreamed of.
Although Smith created similar sculptures in clay – his usual medium – the Layton project was first created in plaster and then cast into bronze.
“It is what gives the piece a textural surface very unique to this piece,” Jen Throckmorton of Main Street Art, Inc., which represents Smith today, said. “Dennis spoke of the gestures of the children, as well as their facial expressions to describe their desire to rise up and explore,” she further said of the 34-year-old sculpture.
In fact, the innocence of childhood is often represented in Smith’s works.
“The child is a metaphor for life. Children’s lives, as they explore the world around them, parallel our lives as adults as we discover our identity in this universe. Each piece by Dennis Smith captures this spirit, still vibrant and alive, frozen in the moment of discovery,” Smith states on his Web site, http://www.smithsculpture.com/
Smith now has an art studio in Alpine, Utah.