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Artist Yearns for Giant Lincoln Head

Seventy-five-year-old artist Frank Gallo has a vision for Urbana, Illinois. He wants to build a 21-foot-tall bronze head of Abraham Lincoln, and set it on a plaza outside the Champaign County Courthouse. He even produced a Photoshop rendering of what the head would look like, which has probably done him more harm than good among the less visionary members of the Champaign County Board.

“Every time I drive by and look at this empty plaza, I see this giant head,” says Gallo in a report by the Urbana News-Gazette — a sentiment that’s probably been felt by all monumental sculptors. “And let’s put a hat on him.”

Indeed, the stovepipe hat in Gallo’s rendering doubles the height of the sculpture. It’s an impressive accessory that no other giant Lincoln head (or giant Lincoln statue) possesses, and after seeing it you’ll wish that earlier Big Abe artists had thought of it as well.

The news story conveys that there is a great deal of hesitation over the head. Perhaps the bureaucrats in Urbana should see it as a 100-foot-tall President, buried up to his neck in sand — the opposite of an ostrich — ever-vigilant and ready to rise and defend the courthouse and the nation.

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January 23, 2022

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