MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (KSNW) – McConnell Air Force Base unveiled its ten-foot-tall fiberglass Keeper of the Plains on Friday.
Design submissions for McConnell’s Keeper began October 2020 and concluded when base leadership selected Vincent Fredericksen and Staff Sgt. Trevor Bjelke’s design.
The McConnell Keeper was donated to the base by Friends of McConnell, an organization whose mission is to support events and activities that directly aid McConnell’s airmen and their families. Their overreaching goal is assuring that McConnell Air Force Base is the best assignment of an airman’s military career.
The donated Keeper of the Plains replica is part of a public art project called “Keepers on Parade,” which was founded by Together Wichita. This project allows local artists to design and paint miniature Keeper replicas that can be found displayed throughout the city.
The original Keeper of the Plains is a 44-foot tall sculpture designed by Native American artist Blackbear Bosin in 1974. The statue stands at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers, where it keeps a watchful eye on the city of Wichita.