Statue In the Quad


Lily Brown

Sculputure, Elizabeth, in the quad at CHS.

Camille Respess, Editor-in-Chief

A few days before the school year began, workers mounted a statue in the CHS quad. This piece of artwork was not entirely new to Clayton High School though. In 2000, the statue, Elizabeth, made by Ruth Keller Schweiss was bought and donated to the Clayton School District by members of the Beard Family in honor of Phyllis Beard, a long serving Clayton Board member.

Elizabeth was once in a very similar spot to where it is now but the statue had to be taken down in 2010. “When we did the construction with the new wing, the statue was taken down because they pretty much leveled that whole area,” CHS Principal Dr. Gutchewsky said.

After renovation of CHS was completed, the statue was not ready to return. Elizabeth had began to deteriorate even before being removed from the high school. “One of the difficulties that we ran into was that the statue wasn’t particularly weather resistant,” Gutchewsky said. The original model of Elizabeth was used to create a new weatherproof one. This new statue is the one that CHS students now walk by many times during their school day.

The artist, Ruth Keller Schweiss was a St. Louis resident for many years, Schweiss died in 2006. Schweiss created many statues that can be found in St. Louis including Still Point which she made in 1990. Still Point is six ballerinas in a fountain in front of the Downtown Clayton Ritz-Carlton.

Schweisses artwork has also been featured outside of St. Louis. Commissioned in 1997, Dancing Ballerinas, is in front of the Downtown Denver Sheraton and was also made by Schweiss.

As for Elizabeth, some finishing touches still need to be made. In order to match the wall behind it, bricks will be added to the base of the statute with a concrete cap.

Gutchewsky plans for the Clayton community to honor the statue once again in the near future.

“We will have some sort of dedication ceremony, kind of like a rededication here at a time that is convenient for the Beard family,” Gutchewsky said.