Viewpoint: Thoughts about the Steadfast Statue

It took 30 years and a Covid-19 pandemic with stay-at-home orders for me to finish a needlepoint. About two decades ago, I threw it in the trash unfinished but unbeknownst to me, my husband dragged it out. Not only that, when we moved from New Jersey to California, he packed it with our other belongings.

In March and April this year, I worked on the needlepoint and finally finished it. It’s now framed and hanging on a wall as a lovely piece of “art.” When we die, which we all do, regardless of the current Covid-19 fears, I very much doubt my children will fight over who gains possession of my artwork. Nevertheless, I’m proud of this accomplishment.

When I lived in New York City, if I had a chance to visit a museum, I invariably ended up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I prefer the “realism” to cubism or surrealism. That’s me, that’s my preference.

This brings us to the prominent statue, named Steadfast, at Caruso’s Palisades Village property. Somebody posted on Nextdoor Palisades, the social media site, hoping that the statue would be taken down during the destructive “riots” that marred the peaceful protests in various parts of the city.

Steadfast was wrapped from head to toe to prevent being graffitied, which brought laughs to many people. One person joked that the statue (located on Swarthmore) actually looked better.

Do I like the statue? No, it’s not my taste, but I’m pretty certain that if a number of people were able to view my needlepoint, they might ask why I chose butterflies, rather than boats. Was I making an environmental statement about the extinction of some butterflies? Why wasn’t milkweed featured in the art to help promote a greater social consciousness?

The Steadfast statue is on private property, owned by Rick Caruso. Just like I choose what I want to put on my private property, he has the same right.

He didn’t have to consult the people of the Palisades before he commissioned a piece of sculpture he liked. Just like I didn’t ask my friends if they thought I should hang the needlepoint.

If you don’t like the statue, enter on the other side of the complex, or just don’t go to the stores or restaurants nearby. You have a choice. But to hear people express negative opinions about this piece of art is tiresome.

I’m also not sure when the people in Pacific Palisades became experts on everything. Maybe that has been facilitated by Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, Facebook and Snap, which encourage people to post whatever pops in their head instantly, regardless of knowledge.

Bernard Meltzer wrote: “Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.” The same is true of posting on the internet.

A sheepherders wagon serves as “lawn art” in Wyoming.

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9 Responses to Viewpoint: Thoughts about the Steadfast Statue

  1. Terri Hacker says:

    Thank you for your very insightful words.
    I think we all need to take a breath, remember we are
    All people and have some gratitude!

  2. Judy Orsini says:

    Beautifully written. I do not, cannot understand the objection to that statue. It is a faceless, unrecognizable “person” simply showing his/her fidelity with the gesture of holding his/her hand to his/her heart to an entity that he/she respects, honors,loves, holds in awe? Does no one understand the intentional blur of the “person” so that it includes everyone on this planet????

  3. M says:

    WELL SAID, as always…..thank you.
    I love your art work – and I know the work that went into it.
    A note on the back of it explaining story behind it, would no doubt be interesting to your children, or any grandchildren. I love hand made items – knit, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, etc. My Mother was very talented in these areas. It is fast becoming a lost art. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! M

  4. Mary Jo Stirling says:

    Every time I see the Steadfast statue, I think of Steadfast Plumbing in the San Fernando Valley. Then my mind goes to plumbing related things….

  5. david kaplan says:

    Spot on.

  6. Maggie says:

    Someone’s private home and a public space (even if on privately owned property) are not the same thing. The village is our communal community space and people do have a right to have and voice opinions about how it is used. The idea that I should avoid my local coffee shop or grocery store or workout gear shop to avoid a statue is illogical. Finally, I’ve seen some incredibly thoughtful, well-informed, expert pieces about that statue, the symbolism and literal relevance of the words on the placard relative to U.S. history and the moment we are in. What a great thing that we have all of these platforms to share ideas on and learn from.

  7. deborah chenoweth says:

    Thank you for this story!!!! So happy we live in a free country!!!!! Love the NEEDLE POINT!!

  8. deborah chenoweth says:

    Beautifully said!

  9. Horacio Montes says:

    I saw the statue today of “Stead Fast “ today and it remains me of what America and patriotism is and what we lack today we are one people we are Americans not the left or the right we are one country

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