For David Petr, it became a sort of ritual any weekend the weather turned particularly nasty.
Which was, well, often.
"Just like the sculpture itself, my memories at the University of Illinois are larger than life. During cold winter weekends, I would trek across campus from my residence hall on Pennsylvania Avenue to the warm and inspiring interior of one of campus’s unique destinations. Located in a tranquil corner in the Krannert Art Museum stood an oversized bronze creation by Emmanuel Fremiet, created nearly 100 years earlier in 1887.
“It was called 'Bear Crushing a Stone Age Man' and resonated deeply with me, a combination of a beastly animal and a graceful human figure. The trapper has been caught with the mother’s cubs, lifeless, tied to his rope and is now suffering his fate. It was a raw display of strength and vulnerability.
“Exhibits in the museum would come and go, but this trapper and this revengeful bear would remain standing in the same welcoming corner of the public art space. I would return time and time again for a visit, for the real emotion brought to life through the hands of this French artist and the curators at the University of Illinois.”