Gary Lee Price is on a lifelong journey “to lift and inspire.” He mostly does this through creating sculpture, some of which are immense bronzes, like his 12-foot angel “Messenger” monument in Iceland honoring 400 early immigrants to the U.S., and smaller works of life-size happy children releasing doves outside of Hong Kong Central Library. He has created literally thousands of sculptures that lift humanity’s connections with one another, appearing in private and public collections around the world. But his greatest sculpture is yet to be built. He was commissioned to create a 305-foot Statue of Responsibility to be placed on the West Coast of the U.S. to marry the symbol of responsibility with the symbol of freedom on the East Coast represented by the Statue of Liberty. And now, he has just completed his first book, with the help of his wife Leesa Clark-Price, and friend and author, Bridget Cook-Burch, a memoir commemorating his journey to be released May 12, 2022, entitled, Divine Turbulence: Navigating the Amorphous Winds of Life.
Inspiration for Statue of Responsibility
The Statue of Responsibility was originally conceived by Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor and famous author-psychiatrist-neurologist. After being released from a Nazi prison camp, Victor hurriedly wrote Man’s Search for Meaning – in just seven days – to record his horrific experiences and accompanying thoughts that Gary says helped him focus on the positive. Viktor warned America in his book that freedoms were arbitrary and could be lost without responsibility. Gary cites page 132 of his edition of Frankl’s book, suggesting that the U.S. build a Statue of Responsibility to bookend the Statue of Liberty.
Once Gary was inspired and had an image of the sculpture’s design, he traveled to Vienna, Austria, to discuss his concept with Mrs. Frankl. She showed him a sculpture of Viktor’s called The Suffering Man, which shows man’s hand reaching to the heavens. Viktor was troubled by the sculpture and wondered where was the hand reaching down to help. Gary’s concept was vertically grasping hands, which visually depicted responsibility to him. He said, “It’s about us assisting each other, being there for each other, connecting with each other.” Unknowingly, Gary had provided the helping hand that Viktor wanted. Mrs. Frankl said, “You, my American friend, have created a sculpture that answers my husband’s question.”
Divine Turbulence—Gary’s Life Story
Gary says he feels a kinship with Viktor Frankl because of his own suffering as a victim, first witnessing the murder suicide of his mother and stepfather, then of child abuse when relocated to the U.S.. Fortunately, his first-grade teacher spotted his talent for art and praised him in front of his classmates. This positive support was followed by other teachers, but no one stepped in to stop the abuse. Gary says that so much of his tragedy as a boy could have been prevented if just one person would have recognized the importance of responsibility and done something. Through his book, Divine Turbulence: Navigating the Amorphous Winds of Life, and through the Statue of Responsibility, Gary hopes to bring conscious awareness to two things, “Number one, we need to have an awareness of what’s going on—a responsibility, if you will, in other people’s lives…and be there for each other.”
Stories of Surviving and Thriving
Listen to or watch this conversation to learn more of Gary’s ideas about how his attitudes and spirit of humanity helped him to survive a tumultuous youth, and how that syncs with Viktor Frankl’s ideas. Gary’s wife, Leesa also adds that all the proceeds from Divine Turbulence go to support the Statue of Responsibility Foundation. Keep an eye out for Gary’s book release, and check out more of his sculptures at https://garyleeprice.com/. And be sure to visit The Statue of Responsibility Foundation website where you can see Gary’s design and purchase smaller versions of the statue to help the Foundation achieve their mission of building the symbol of responsibility needed to remind us that freedom isn’t free.