Tactile history tour: Students get up-close look at Wilkins sculptures

Don Wilkins poses for a photo with a group of students at the surveyor statue in Chamberlain.

Don Wilkins poses for a photo with a group of students at the surveyor statue in Chamberlain.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — History and design are important, sure, but how many sculptures were built with climbing in mind?

Students from Davidson School had a hands-on encounter with the statues built by local craftsman Don Wilkins last week, taking a tour from Chamberlain to Bladworth to see the displays along Highway 11.

At each stop they got off their bus to view the sculptures. Many students took the opportunity to get as close as possible — scaling the buffalo hunter’s gun, dangling from the ox’s horn or climbing into the Red River carts.

Wilkins, who joined them for the tour on June 17, was clearly delighted with the experience.

The sculptures were built big to make them visible to highway drivers, and to allow people to immerse themselves in history.

“I don’t mind people touching my work,” he said at one point, telling the students later, “I’m flattered by this whole event.”

Students from grades 4 and 7 took part in the bus tour, organized by staff members Correne Pedersen, Arlene Low and Garrett Bailey, with Darwin Taylor driving the bus.

They made five stops, viewing the surveyor at Chamberlain, the ox and cart at Aylesbury, the buffalo hunter at Craik, the buffalo at Girvin and the Louis Riel statue at Bladworth.

For the full story and photos, please see the June 27 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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