Sculptor Lea Vivot said she is disappointed over the coverage that national media gave to the unveiling of her Tommy Douglas statue in Weyburn.
The unveiling on September 10 featured a visit from Douglas' grandson and famous Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland and NDP leaders Jack Layton and Dwain Lingenfelter.
Vivot explained that while the dignitaries had every right to be at the unveiling, national media focused too much on their presence and not the man who the day was meant to honour, former premier and "father of Medicare" Tommy Douglas.
"Kiefer didn't come there as an actor, he came as a grandson," said Vivot. "It was up to (the media) what they focused on but it wasn't appropriate."
As for reports that Vivot was considering moving the statue from Weyburn to Douglas' birthplace in Scotland because of her disappointment, she said she had no intention of doing this. Vivot said that her intention always was and is to make a separate sculpture for Douglas' birthplace in Falkirk, Scotland.
"The process of creation is all that remains with me, once delivered it belongs to the people," said Vivot.
Vivot said her main concern was the fact that some national media did not even mention that she was the sculptor or that she donated the piece to Weyburn, minus the $30,000 material fee contributed by residents.
Vivot said that the issue of artistic credit should be taken more seriously and compared her name not being mentioned alongside the statue to not mentioning the name of the title actor in a movie or the author of a book.
"It's not right," said Vivot. "You put your heart and soul in it."
Bronze sculptures, like the one of Tommy Douglas, would normally cost $250,000 to $300,000 to have commissioned by Vivot.
"Tommy's life was not without controversy and I guess the spirit follows," said Vivot.
The sculptor said that she hopes Weyburn will enjoy the statue and take good care of it.
Councillor Nancy Styles, chair of the City committee to install the statue and organize the unveiling, said that plaques and lights still need to be put in place to highlight the contribution of Vivot's statue to Weyburn.
"We are very appreciative of the work and effort that Lea Vivot has done," said Styles.