Exhibition Reviews | In Plain Site

Ed Hlavka: Mustangs in the Round

In Utah’s Dixie a unique piece of public art was recently installed by artist Edward Hlavka. “The Mustangs” features five equestrian statues that encircle the Snow Canyon Roundabout in Ivins, Utah.

The five mustangs, one featuring a rider, are placed around the large rocks in the center of the circle near the east entrance to Ivins, allowing visitors and passersby to see the work in a continuous loop. Hlavka says the challenge of sculpting horses in full locomotion and in the round was the most exciting and interesting aspect of this work. Typically there is a front, back or strong side to any given figurative sculpture but in this case all five horses had to be strong from every direction.

For inspiration Hlavka drew on his respect for indigenous Ute and Paiute Tribes and his love for the speed and beauty of the wild mustangs of the American West. For technical knowledge the longtime student of the human form drew on experiences from his youth spent on a ranch in South Dakota, the hours he spent working with his grandfather, a skilled horseman, as well as more recent studies from life and photographs.

Hlavka maintains a studio in the nearby Coyote Gulch Art Village so he will see his new sculpture on a daily basis. “I put everything I have into all of my projects but unlike many of my other works, this one is right here where I live, where I’m raising my family and where I intend to stay for many years. It has truly been an honor to have the opportunity to produce a monument highlighting the strength and beauty of our native peoples coupled with the majesty of the American Mustang.”


Ed Hlavka has created a number of public works that appear in the St. George area. He is represented by the Metal Art Gallery 873 in the Coyote Gulch Art Village.

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