By Joshua Maloni
“The Spirit of Victory” statue will remain on Lower River Road, across from Joseph Davis State Park.
At Monday’s Village of Lewiston Board meeting, Mayor Anne Welch said, “After speaking to the ex-director of the Arts Council (Irene Rykaszewski and Eva Nicklas), they would really like it left in that spot.”
Board members voted unanimously to keep the artwork in its current location.
Trustees previously discussed moving “The Spirit of Victory” to Academy Park, seeking a more visible location for the statue. That was during the initial conversations regarding the “Lewiston Public Art Project,” which includes a mural wrap at the park comfort station, metal benches on Center Street, and the possibility of metal art frames.
“The Spirit of Victory” originated at Artpark State Park but was decommissioned. The Lewiston Council on the Arts teamed with sculpture artist Tom Mullany to restore and modify the piece.
In a recent letter to the Tribune/Sentinel, Rykaszewski and Nicklas stated, “Given the scale of the sculpture, its current location is perfect and it functions as the centerpiece of a contemplative space that just needs a little TLC. Please leave ‘The Spirit of Victory’ where she is – that is her home.”
Mullany added, “Since this ‘Angel’ came down from its perch in Artpark, I was always glad that Lewiston and the Lewiston Arts Council had found her a landing place, in a clearing on the bluff above the Niagara River. It’s a wonderful location and, over the years, I continue to receive comments and mentions from visitors to the statue; people who came upon it while driving up and down River Road or cycling the path there. As a final destination, I’ve always felt that it was perfect.”