I couldn’t be the only one with questions about the resident wooden head on the Westside. Driving by it for a couple of years, I finally stopped to read the plaque and ask some questions. 

The head has one year left in Laramie, and then we’ll potentially get a new sculpture. 

While the head, which is actually made out of cottonwood bark, does resemble a certain presidential figure, it represents humans connecting with nature. It’s titled “Exhaling Dissolution,” and it was created in 2011 by Wisconsin-based artist Sarah Deppe. 

Prior to its Laramie visit, the sculpture was planted in Iowa and Tennesee. It’s part of the Laramie Public Art Coalition’s Rotating Sculpture Program; LPAC’s mission is to encourage community engagement through art. 

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Exhaling Dissolution said Deppe, “is a human head, no one in particular, representing humanity. Its mouth is open as if it were speaking or breathing or exhaling and engaging in conversation. The primary focus is to initiate conversations about social issues such as the environment and giving a voice to nature. This work is about connecting with nature. The bark will eventually dissolve and return to the earth.

The sculpture at the base of the bridge on Third and Harney Streets is titled “Taking Flight.” It was created by Clifton Cox out of Kentucky. The stainless steel piece took Cox over 600 hours and a year’s time to create. 

An athlete and former swimming coach, Cox said he appreciated the physicality of creating the structure, and it “embodies that energy and movement.” Prior to Laramie, the art was installed at the University of Kentucky’s Fine Arts Building.  

These two pieces are on a several-year rotation; the current cycle is 2021-2024. 

Murals in Laramie

All the murals in downtown Laramie. Let's appreciate and love the beautiful art around town.

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