First statue to honor a woman to be installed at the Kentucky state capital

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 10:25 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -Across the country and right here in Kentucky there is a lack of public art that celebrates women.

Wednesday it was announced a new statue would be installed at the state capital in Frankfort that will honor a pioneer in Kentucky education.

The sculptor behind the new statue has been on a mission to make this a reality and says it is not only about the historical importance, but also what it will mean for future generations.

Two years ago, at her studio, Prometheus Art in Lexington, sculptor Amanda Matthews was hard at work on a new piece of art. Skip ahead to present day and she was at the state capital eagerly awaiting this announcement. "I get to announce that first monument honoring a woman Miss Nettie Depp will be coming to the state capital," said Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman. Matthews was commissioned for the piece honoring Nettie Depp, a pioneer in Kentucky education. Depp was not only a teacher, a principal, but also elected as school superintendent in Barren county in 1913, seven years before women had full voting rights. For this artist the moment is profound. "It's a wonderful moment for all women and girls in Kentucky because this is going to be brand new for the state of Kentucky," said Amanda Matthews. Since 2014 Matthews has been working to get a female statue on state land. We were there when she was first working on the clay sculpture of Depp. Matthews has always fought for the underdog, women in history who haven't been recognized. "I think she has been overlooked, but more importantly I think she serves a proxy for a lot of other women who have also been overlooked," said Matthews. While she is incredibly proud of her accomplishment, this artist is more proud of what others will learn from just seeing her work.

"So, we hope that this provides them not just with another statuary but with the inspiration to see what women contribute to the state of Kentucky and the Commonwealth," said Matthews.

Once completed and cast in bronze, the statue of Nettie Depp will be installed August 21, 2021.

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