8 Wonders of Kansas art

An 8 Wonder of Kansas Art

Blackbear Bosin's Keeper of the Plains, Wichita

Address: 650 N. Seneca, Wichita, KS
Website: www.360wichita.com/Attractions/KeeperofthePlains.html

Keeper of the Plains is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art because it is an awe-inspiring sculpture by well-known artist Blackbear Bosin that honors the region's original citizens and has become a symbol of Wichita!

On May 18, 1974 a ceremony took place to dedicate the Keeper of the Plains as a Wichita Bicentennial project. The majestic 44-foot sculpture was designed by Blackbear Bosin (1921-1980), a Kiowa-Comanche and internationally-
recognized artist, muralist and designer.

It was Bosin's gift to the city. The five-ton sculpture was placed at the confluence of the little and big Arkansas Rivers which is considered a sacred site by Native Americans and was home to the Wichita tribe for many years.

The 5-ton Keeper has recently undergone a renovation and now rests atop a new 30-foot pedestal facing east. The Keeper Plaza incorporates the history of the Native Americans and embodies a "sacred hoop" and the four elements that make up life (earth, air, fire and water).

The Keeper of the Plains "ring of fire" burns nightly during the summer at 9 p.m. for 15 minutes

During standard time (fall and winter): 7 p.m. for 15 minutes.

"For added public safety, the Ring of Fire is manually turned on. All schedules are weather depending, including river levels. The Ring of Fire will not be turned on in high winds, rain or other inclement weather. If the river is too high, or if a person is too close, they will not be turned on."

Location: 650 N. Seneca
Contacts: Mid-America All Indian Center, 316.262.5221; maaic@sbcglobal.net
Hours and admission charge: N/A 

Photos: Harland Schuster for KSF

Every evening the "ring of fire" lights up the keeper for 15 minutes. Refer to the website for times.

Interpretive panels impressively tell the Native American story in this area.