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Oregon, Illinois -
The Oregon Trail Days Festival Committee has commissioned a distinctive work of art to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Black Hawk Statue created by famous sculpture, Lorado Taft. The work of art is called “Eternal Spirit” and features Black Hawk, Tipis, and eagles.

eternalspiritWatercolor artist, Jody Bergsma, was commissioned to create the painting highlighting Taft’s sculpture.  Jody has been painting Native American themes for 30 years. Her study of their art, symbols and myth is often combined with wildlife to create intriguing images rich with meaning.

Jody chose eagles for the backdrop to the sculpture because the eagle is an important icon for all Americans.  She said that a colony for artists called "Eagles Nest" deserves to be remembered ...a place where fledgling creatures can stretch their wings as they learn to fly.

To the North American Indian the Eagle is also the symbol for "THE GREAT SPIRIT" and an important personal "Totem" they are the fathers of the sky and a great reminder of our own ability to soar to great heights.

The Tipis in the picture not only represent Native Americans but they are an icon of the Oregon Trail Days Festival.  The event was created to celebrate the Native American & Western Heritage of the area and is held in Lowden State Park in Oregon Illinois.  Over 50 Tipis welcome visitors to the park for the annual event.  Prior to the festival 23 painted Tipis are displayed throughout the City of Oregon to bring awareness of Oregon Trail Days.  This grouping is known as the “The Oregon Trail of Painted Tipis",

The artwork was created as a fundraising tool for the restoration of Black Hawk and the 100th anniversary celebration being held July 16 and 17, 2011.  One hundred signed, numbered and matted prints of “Eternal Spirits” will be sold for $100 each.  Prints are available at the Eagles Nest and Merlin’s. All Festival merchandise are available by contacting the festival at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 815-238-8672.

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