WACO welcomes “Take Flight” sculpture


TROY — Representatives from Dungan & Lefevre Law Offices and the National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) gathered at WACO Air Museum and Learning Center on Friday, Oct. 21, to welcome artist Clint Hansen’s sculpture “Take Flight” to its new home in front of the museum’s main entrance.

“It speaks to flight, and it speaks to the childhood desire in all of us to fly,” museum associate Steve Stanford said. “It’s a perfect piece for the museum.”

The sculpture, a WACO-themed 7-foot-high metal version of a paper airplane, sat outside Dungan & Lefevre Law Offices in Troy during the “Sculptures on the Square” program sponsored by Troy Main Street in 2021. In a joint effort, Dungan & Lefevre and the NAHA decided to split the cost of donating the sculpture to the museum.

“This was in front of our office,” Dungan & Lefevre Law Offices President Sarah Worley said. “We knew that it was being stored. We remembered the references to WACO, and thought this was the perfect place to donate the sculpture.”

“It should stay in Troy,” Worley said.

“Troy has a strong history in aviation,” NAHA Executive Director Mackensie Wittmer said. “WACO Aviation Museum has been a longtime partner in the heritage area. The National Aviation Heritage Area is always looking for opportunities to support our designated partners.”

The NAHA covers a total of eight counties, ranging from Auglaize County to Warren County.

“It is a Congressionally designated boundary,” Wittmer said, “because of the variety of extensive assets that we have in southwest Ohio.”

“We’re happy to work in Miami County with our partners,” Wittmer said.

“Take Flight” is the first sculpture from the “Sculptures on the Square” program that has been purchased in this manner. Usually, the sculptures are returned to the artists who created them.

Instead, “Take Flight” was actually stored by Troy Main Street Board member Julie McMiller, who kept the sculpture for a year in her barn.

“It came down last October,” McMiller said, “and we’ve just been working on finding a home for it.”

The sculpture will be positioned in front of the Waco Air Museum’s main entrance, greeting guests as they arrive at the museum.

“We’re really excited to have it,” Stanford said. “We will do some adjustments, and put it down on concrete later.”

Iowa-based artist Chris Hansen created “Take Flight,” inspired by his family’s long history in aviation. “I grew up with a fascination and love for airplanes, and especially vintage biplanes,” Hansen said in an email to the museum. “My father was a pilot, and so is my son; maybe someday I will finally get my license as well.”

“It is an honor and a pleasure to know that the sculpture has found its home at the museum,” Hansen said.

“We just want to say thank you to both of our sponsors and to Waco for letting this sculpture have a life here in Troy,” Troy Main Street executive director Andrea Keller said. “This sculpture was made specifically for the Troy event, and it has Waco on it. We’re just happy that it has a home here in Troy permanently.”

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