The Heavyweight (Lotus)

Artist: Dr. Burt Brent

Medium: Bronze

Year: 1994

Directions to this Sculpture

The Heavyweight (Lotus)

Go ahead, take a seat! The Heavyweight was commissioned for Krasl Art Center’s sculpture garden in 1994. From the beginning, the sculpture was intended to be welcoming and interactive. Each year, hundreds of children and adults climb on, stand on, sit on, and hug the 800-pound hippo now known as Lotus.

Dr. Burt Brent was an apprentice in a taxidermy studio at the age of thirteen. He went on to become a world-renowned surgeon, famous for ear and face reconstruction for children. In 1987, Brent sculpted a bronze rhinoceros for Rhino Rescue, an auction at Sotheby’s that raised money to establish a Kenyan rhino preserve. Dr. Brent’s rhino became an instant success, and since then he has created many wildlife sculptures, often donating his earnings toward other organizations like Rhino Rescue.

In anticipation of the arrival of The Heavyweight, and to raise funds to place the sculpture in its new home, an educational display about hippo natural history was placed at Orchard Mall. Children visiting the hippo display at the mall were invited to submit nicknames for the new sculpture. Katie Camp of Stevensville won the contest, and The Heavyweight became who we now know and love as Lotus.

Listen to Dr. Burt Brent talk about his path to being both surgeon and artist and how it’s all related by clicking this link.

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