Late Artist's Friend Wants to Finish Bismarck Sculpture

The Associated Press

The friend of a late artist has announced plans to finish restoring a sculpture of an eagle along the Missouri River in Bismarck.

Steve White Mountain, 51, died June 7 of a massive heart attack as he worked on the eagle sculpture "Reflections" in Steamboat Park, the Bismarck Tribune ( reported.

"He died doing what he loved to do best," Dawn White Mountain said of her husband.

Steve White Mountain was only a week away from completing restoration work on the sculpture when he died. He also had plans to work on the four-headed thunderbird statue at Keelboat Park.

Friend Cal Miner was helping White Mountain restore the "Reflections" sculpture, and now plans to complete it, he said. The project involves installing cedar planks to give the look of feathers.

"I'm just going to finish this," Miner recently said as he drilled a screw into a cedar plank. "I try to come down every day."

Steve White Mountain had worked on three of five sculptures installed by United Tribes Technical College students in the mid-2000. He worked on their design as a student.

"He was a good man, older than average, kind of the grandpa of the group," said Wayne Pruse, chairman of the art and art marketing department at the school. "He asked a lot of questions, and they were good questions."

After vandals kicked large holes in the "Reflections" sculpture in February, Steve White Mountain offered to fix it using $3,000 from the parks department.

Dawn White Mountain said she wants to a hold a ceremony in front of the sculpture honoring her husband once Miner finishes the remaining work.

"He was so ecstatic," whenever he finished restoring a sculpture, she said. "He would look at me and say, 'I finished it. I did it.'"

"Yes," she always responded. "You did."