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After 2 1/2 months of working on a fabricated steel eagle, sculptor Rick Prazen is nearing completion. The sculpture was commis- sioned by Robert B. Pamplin Jr., director emeritus of the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge, Pa. The piece, titled "Spirit of Freedom," will be presented to retiring foundation President Robert W. Miller during a ceremony in mid-September.

Prazen has sculpted many eagles. Two he has modeled have been cast in bronze. His first edition of 35 has already sold out. To date, he's sold five from his second edition.However, the majority of his sculptures have been fabricated - 35 of them. But here, the additive process was used, so each one had to be done separately.

Prazen is much more than a welder and fabricator. Just one look at his eagles proves that. He's able to capture a feeling of movement along with other principles of design. And each sculpture has great aesthetic appeal.

A perfectionist, he's constantly searching for better ways to sculpt his eagles. "This one is a little different," he said of his most recent creation. "While the rest of the eagle has been fabricated, its head was cast in bronze. It was then electroplated with silver; the beak and the talons were electroplated with gold."

He re-creates the feathered texture by running a high-speed air grinder over the feathers that have been cut from steel sheets.

A proponent of the integrity of the material, Prazen uses no paint. Instead, he uses a oxy-acetylene torch, heating the steel to produce the bluish-gray color that gives the feathers a natural look as well as brings out the texture.

Prazen is one of the owners of Pioneer Manufacturing & Welding Inc. The company recently moved to 540 W. 200 South.

- Springville has been selected as one of the small towns included in "The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America," a book by John Villani that will soon be off the press.

Springville's dedication to the arts has a long and wonderful history beginning with donations of artwork by John Hafen and Cyrus Dallin. In fact, it was through the efforts of students of Springville High School that works by artists from around the United States were purchased during the annual April Salon. This collection formed the foundation that was to bring the Springville Museum of Art into existence.

The Springville Arts Commission is involved in a project that to date has placed 10 pieces of statuary by local artists in public places around the community.

Springville is also the site of the Springville World Folkfest, an international dance and music festival that will celebrate its 10th year in 1995. The city of Springville is a major sponsor of this event.

- The Hafen-Dallin Volunteer Guild is sponsoring a benefit tour to see the sights of Santa Fe and Taos, N.M. The five-day trip is scheduled for Oct. 20-24 and will include visits to pueblos, art and history museums, galleries and selected trading posts. The cost of the trip is $485 based on a minimum of 30 participants and includes a $50 tax-deductible donation to the Hafen-Dallin Guild. The tour covers transportation, accommodations and museum entrances. A deposit of $100 is due by Sept. 12. For more information, call Sharon Gray at the Springville Museum of Art, 489-2727.

- Lectures, workshops, classes and meetings:

Friday, Sept. 9 (8 p.m., Bountiful/Davis Art Center, 2175 S. Main, 292-0367) - Panel discussion on LeConte Stewart's early years and legacy. Guest panelists: Robert Olpin, Anton Rasmussen and William Stringham.

Sept. 15-17 (Kimball Art Center, Park City, 649-8882) - "Painting Zion in Color," workshop taught by Carl Purcell.

Sept. 23-25 (Entrada Institute, Torrey, Utah,(801-467-9994 or 425-3265) - "Autumn Colors on Boulder Mountain," photography workshop by Scott Smith and Francois Camoin. Open to advanced beginner and intermediate photographers. Cost: $95. Registration limited.

Friday, Sept. 30 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., National Wildlife Museum, Jackson Hole, Wyo., (307-733-2007) - "Art, Politics and Place," a symposium comparing and contrasting the effects of western art on public awareness of social and political issues of the 19th century with that in the 20th century.