Kahuna Memorial Project

Benjamin Missey photo

Artist Talk with nationally recognized sculptor Jocelyn Russell and Elk Fest activities scheduled

Commemorating Kahuna during the first rut season without him in Moraine Park, the Kahuna Memorial Steering Committee has several activities in place for Kahuna-followers to participate.

The Art Center of Estes Park is hosting a photo exhibition and silent auction showcasing premier images of the famous bull elk Kahuna captured by more than 20 photographers.

The exhibition and silent auction are open to the public beginning Saturday, October 1 for Elk Fest and runs through Sunday, October 9 for Estes Park First Friday Art Walk weekend. The silent auction is held online and those interested in owning a magnificent image of Kahuna may go to galabid.com/kahunamemorial to browse and place bids from anywhere around the world.

“Kahuna was unquestionably the most popular and most photographed elk that ever walked the planet,” said Fred McClanahan, Jr. and Kahuna Memorial Advisory Council member “Documenting his life through photographs was an awesome journey over many years and one I’ll never forget.”

Photographers who will exhibit and have images included in the online silent auction for the Kahuna Memorial Fundraiser include Randy Crawford, Kat Franklin, Richard Hahn, Richie Hayward, Robert Lawley, Michael Madrid, Brad Manard, Rick Martinez, Fred McClanahan, Kyle Medina, Benjamin Missey, Mary Moore, Victoria Samuel, Dennis Smith, Richard Spratley, Gosia Pisowicz Stewart, Megan Rios, Matthew Ross, Jim Ward, Dawn Wilson.

Art Talk Reception

The Kahuna Memorial Committee is also hosting an Art Talk Reception beginning at 6:00 p.m., Saturday, October 1 at the Art Center of Estes Park, featuring distinguished wildlife sculptor Jocelyn Russell, a native of Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park elk enthusiast. Russell is known for several important public art installations including her sculptures of the Triple Crown winner Secretariat in Lexington, KY and SSgt Reckless, the U.S. Marine war horse, at the National Museum of Marine Corps in Triangle, VA.

Attendees will gain insight into the artistic process of concepting, creating and producing bronzed sculptures, much like the public art installations Estes Park is known for displaying throughout the community.

“We are so pleased to be working with the Kahuna Memorial Steering Committee on bringing such an intriguing artist in to talk about wildlife sculpting and bronzed art installations,” said Alice League, Art Center of Estes Park board member and liaison for the Kahuna Memorial project.

Elk Fest – Booth 90 THINK. WATCH. RESPECT.

The Kahuna Memorial will have a booth at Bond Park during Elk Fest where visitors can receive safety tip cards for watching elk, learn about the progress underway for the Kahuna Memorial design, along with the opportunity to purchase Kahuna photography prints. Youth and adults are invited to pick up a copy of Local Herd, a comic book by Estes Park illustrator Timothy Buck, and enjoy cameo appearances of Kahuna the Elk throughout Elk Fest.

“We enjoy community outreach opportunities like Elk Fest so we can talk about safe wildlife observation tips, share Kahuna stories and gain community insights useful for the Kahuna Memorial project,” said Barb Prentiss-Davis, one of the steering committee members and the Town of Estes’ Mrs. Santa in the town’s Catch the Glow parade and We Believe holiday activities. “It’s so much fun when we meet social media followers and donors visiting our booth.”

Kahuna Memorial

The goal of the Kahuna Memorial Project, which began its fundraising campaign in May, is two-fold. The Steering Committee envisions the memorial serving as a significant piece of public art with elements that intrigues curiosity and informs safety precautions through long-lasting signage in locations where people frequently observe the elk in Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Kahuna Memorial Project has aligned with the Art Center of Estes Park, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Contributions to the project are tax-deductible and can be made through the organization’s GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/f/kahunamemorial or by check made in care of the Art Center of Estes Park for the Kahuna Memorial.

“This memorial will position Kahuna and his legacy as a Rocky Mountain ambassador to promote awareness of safety behaviors around wildlife,” said Steering Committee chair, John Coombs.

To learn more about the progress of the Kahuna Memorial Project which has raised more than $33,000, or to view the “Kahuna Clicks” Photo Exhibition and Silent Auction, as well as other works of art from local artists exhibiting at the Estes Park Art Center, individuals may email questions to KahunaMemorial@gmail.com, the Kahuna website at

www.kahunamemorial.com, or the Art Center of Estes Park website at www.artcenterofestes.com.

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