HELENA — A Helena sculptor is hard at work, preparing a new piece of art for the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.
The MLEA Foundation commissioned Lyle Schwabauer to design and create a sculpture for the campus in the Helena Valley. He came up with a piece called “Safe and Sound.” It shows a city police officer, county sheriff’s deputy and Montana Highway Patrol trooper, finding a “missing boy” who had simply gone fishing with his dog.
Schwabauer says the foundation asked him for a piece that would represent all law enforcement and show emotion.
“Instead of seeing our law enforcement as always in the forefront fighting crime, also how much they do actually helping people – that was my whole concept,” he said.
At the Mountain Sage Gallery in downtown Helena, Schwabauer is currently working on larger-than-life clay figures. He’ll then use those figures to make molds and cast the final versions in bronze. The figures will eventually be landscaped into place at the academy.
Schwabauer estimates he’s about a third of the way through the process. He says he’s proud to be able to do this project in support of Montana officers.
“I’m in 100 percent for law enforcement,” he said. “I think this piece at this time brings it to the forefront.”
Schwabauer and the MLEA Foundation will hold an event at the Mountain Sage Gallery this Friday, March 11, to showcase the project and kick off a fundraising campaign. It will run from 5 to 7 p.m., at 433 N. Last Chance Gulch in Helena.
The foundation hopes to raise up to $200,000 for the sculpture. They say 100% of donations raised will go to the project.