New 10-foot tall stainless steel sculpture installed on Hannibal’s riverfront

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Artist Chris Wubbena poses with Liberte, a new sculpture installed on Hannibal's riverfront. | Photo courtesy of Hannibal Arts Council

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Hannibal’s second public art sculpture recently was installed in a partnership with the Hannibal Arts Council and Hannibal Parks and Recreation as part of the Sculpture on the Move program.  The sculpture, titled Liberté, was installed on a base on Hannibal’s newly redeveloped riverfront.

The artist, Chris Wubbena, drove the 10-feet tall stainless-steel sculpture to Hannibal from his home in Cape Girardeau, where he is a tenured full professor of sculpture at Southeast Missouri State University and helps coordinate a similar public art program. 

Liberté comes to Hannibal after most recently being on display in Chicago’s River North area as part of Chicago’s Public Art Program. Wubbena has public art sculptures in 11 different communities in Missouri, as well as llinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Mississippi. 

Liberté features a brushed stainless-steel structure topped by a graffiti and stenciled metal monolith with imagery representing the environment, French-inspired imagery and imagery related to family and the artist’s own personal experiences. The true meaning of Liberté is meant to be interpreted by the viewer.

In a press relase, Wubbena said, “Liberté was completed in this style to reflect the immediate need to express thoughts right here, right now.  Inspired by classical figurative sculpture along with geologic and Neolithic rock formations, Liberté takes a closer look at the individual, the person, and the weight they assume.” 

Wubbena holds a master’s degree in art with a sculpture emphasis from San Francisco State University, a bachelor’s degree in art with a sculpture emphasis and a creative writing minor from the University of Northern Iowa.  His work has been exhibited in outdoor and indoor exhibitions throughout the United States.

“It’s great to see communities the size of Hannibal getting into public art in the form of sculptures,” he said.

The Hannibal Arts Council joined The Creative Communities Alliance in order to be among 20 total communities eligible to participate in the rotating sculpture loan program and choose among more than 150 sculptures. The works are original pieces by regional and national artists.

Two more sculptures will be installed in Hannibal this summer, both by native Hannibalian Nick Willett. 

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