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Statue, monuments by LDS artists enhance Carthage Jail complex

As visitors tour the newly remodeled and just-dedicated Carthage Jail site, they will be enjoying some of the handiwork of two LDS artists.

Dee Jay Bawden sculpted the statue of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum that graces the plaza leading to the jail and the visitors center. Jeff L. Anderson carved six large historical monuments or tablets, five of which are on the plaza. The Carthage Jail complex was dedicated June 27 (see July 8 Church News.)Bawden, a member of the Hunter 23rd Ward in West Valley City, Utah, said plans for the Carthage block originally called for separate statues of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. However, after he presented a model of the two brothers standing together, "supporting each other," the plans were changed.

"I was given the go-ahead for a statue with Hyrum standing behind Joseph with his arm around the Prophet, giving him strength and indicating his support," explained Bawden.

Bawden was well-prepared to do the statue - during the past decade he has done 15 different statues of the Prophet and seven of Hyrum. "I felt the Spirit very strongly as I worked on the project," Bawden remarked.

A small-scale model of the statue was seen, and his work approved by Elder Loren C. Dunn, a member of the First Quroum of the Seventy and president of the North America Central Area and of Nauvoo Restoration Inc.

"Everything went very smoothly; I was thankful to be an instrument in such a wonderful project."

Anderson, a financial clerk in the Austin (Minn.) Ward, reports similar gratitude for his involvement in the project.

He first heard about the project after reading an article in the Church News about the planned restoration.

"Naturally, I was somewhat interested because I was in the monument trade," said Anderson. He later received approval to do the project.

"The difficult part of the six tablets was that we were working with slate," explained Anderson.

Final approval on artwork and wording was received the last week in May.

"From that point on, we worked on it essentially non-stop," Anderson related. "I finished on a Friday night, loaded up on Saturday and left, and started setting up in Carthage Monday morning. The grounds were dedicated the following week."

The six tablets were designed by Lloyd Knowles, a design architect with the Church, with artwork by Marilyn Meekes. The tablets include quotations from the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum.

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