Nonprofit works to replace Kodiak’s Madsen Bear statue

  • Thursday, November 12, 2015 12:38am
  • News

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A Kodiak nonprofit is working to gather support for a new project that would replace the city’s life-size fiberglass statue of a Kodiak brown bear.

The 60-year-old statue known as the Madsen Bear is in bad shape and the city could use a replacement, according to chairman of the Kodiak Brown Bear Trust Paul Chervenak. The Madsen Bear welcomes people to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

“Of course, just sunlight would do it, but wind and rain, salt, so the actual statue itself is cracking,” Chervenak said. “There’s been some vandalism and damage, or maybe just accidents, people wanting to have pictures taken with it, so they’re climbing on it and breaking the claws off, etc. And we’ve tried to repair it and keep it up, but it’s sort of (a) losing battle.”

The Brown Bear Trust is relying on donations and a social media campaign to raise the $40,000 it will contribute for a new bronze sculpture of the Kodiak bear. The group has raised more than $8,000 so far.

The statute was raised in honor of Kodiak’s first registered bear guide, Charles Madsen. The group’s funding page says Madsen advocated for the protection of the Kodiak bear after the popularity of hunting in the early 20th century started making an impact.

The organization is already in negotiations with a potential artist for the project, Stan Watts, and the Utah-based foundry he owns, Atlas Bronze Casting.

Chervenak said Kodiak Brown Bear Trust will likely sign a contract with Watts this week, which help secure additional funding for the project.

“The artist is trying to line up donors through people he knows to cover the rest of it,” Chervenak said. “I mean, the total project will probably be $100,000 to $125,000 by the time you create it, ship it here and install it, and so he’s covering that end of it.”

More in News

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna OKs bumps to city water, sewer rates

The changes are effective July 1

Triumvirate Theatre President Joe Rizzo testifies before the Kenai Planning & Zoning Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai OKs permit for new Triumvirate playhouse

The playhouse design describes a $4.7 million facility that is two stories with an audience capacity of 150 people

Kenai City Council member Alex Douthit testifies in support of legislation allowing chickens on some city lots during a meeting of the Kenai Planning & Zoning Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai planning group gives conditional thumbs-up to chicken ordinance

The legislation would allow Kenai residents to keep up to 12 chicken hens on certain lots

Emergency personnel respond to a fire on R/V Qualifier, in the Northern Enterprises Boatyard on Kachemak Drive, Jan. 19, 2023, in Homer, Alaska. (Photos by Nika Wolfe)
Research vessel catches fire in Homer boatyard

The cause of the fire and extent of the damage is not yet known

Alaska Vocational Technical Center Executive Director Cathy LeCompte presents during a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
AVTEC director plugs programming at chamber luncheon

AVTEC is about more, LeCompte said, than just checking off classes to gain certification

From left, Dave Carey, Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings, Zach Hamilton and Peter Micciche participate in a Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor candidate forum on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough mayoral candidates participate in Tuesday forum

The forum was hosted by the Peninsula Clarion and KDLL 91.9 FM in partnership with the Central Peninsula League of Women Voters

A volunteer ladles Hungarian mushroom soup donated by Odie’s at Kenai United Methodist Food Pantry in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, Jan. 23, 2022. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Church food pantry marks 20 years of service

The Food Pantry at Kenai United Methodist Church opened Jan. 26, 2003

Library Director Dave Berry and Advisory Board Chair Kate Finn participate in Library Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday Jan. 17, 2023, at Homer City Hall, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Emilie Springer/Homer News)
Homer Library Advisory Board upholds decision to retain LGBTQ+ books

A citizen’s group last year submitted a petition asking that the books be removed from the children’s section

Most Read