West Bend Resolve

O. V. Shaffer, Stainless Steel/Corten, Bronze,

West Bend Resolve, created in 1995 by O. V. Shaffer of Beloit, Wisconsin, pulls its basic form from the westerly bend in the Milwaukee River as it flows through the city and then onto Lake Michigan. The city was named for that “bend.” The work is, in effect, an upright “bend.” The community’s first settlers relied on the river for power, water, and food, as well as aesthetics. Where early settlers placed a dam at the apex of the bend for practical reasons, Shaffer perched a gold-plated, cast-bronze eagle. It, he said, symbolizes the resolve of the community’s hardy people. The stainless steel wings of the piece stretch 18 feet high and 20 feet wide. The three uplifting pillars are corten steel. The sculpture graces the entrance to Riverside Park and has become the symbol of West Bend. Shaffer, a graduate of Beloit College with an MFA from Michigan State, has placed 80 major works across the United States. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company donated the work to the City of West Bend in honor of its 100th anniversary in 1994.