March 27 2014 12:00 AM

Lansing hosts program to honor man behind Spartan statue

A 12-inch miniature of Sparty will be on display next week at a presentation about the iconic statue and its creator. Courtesy photo.

Thursday, March 27 — The artwork that launched a thousand of selfies will be honored next week. Michigan State University’s statue, The Spartan, and its sculptor, Leonard Jungwirth, will be the subject of an informational program by Historical Society of Greater Lansing next Thursday, April 3.

“(Sparty creates) a sense of identity,” said Valerie Marvin, the association’s president. “This is how (locals say) ‘I’m a Spartan.

Sparty is the world’s largest freestanding ceramic sculpture weighing in at 6,600 pounds and standing 9 feet 7 inches tall. Also on exhibit will be a bronze miniature of the statue Jungwirth made for Biggie Munn, the second time this has been exhibited publicly, along with a 12-inch miniature casted in bronze by Richard Best.

“He’s very bold and brave and embodies not only the athletic front (of the university), but what a student wants to accomplish,” Marvin said.

A replica of the statue will be reproduced in Spartan green on-site using a 3-D printer to. It will be given to the MSU Museum as a modern version of the iconic image.

Jungwirth is responsible for many other works on MSU’s campus featured in the Union, the Memorial Chapel and Landon Hall’s cafeteria among others. He is also the man behind the sculpture on the side of City Hall.

“It’s a really cool mix of history and technology,” said Marvin.

Leonard Jungwirth and Sparty

Presented by the Historical Society of Greater Lansing

7 p.m. Thursday, April 3

Lansing City Hall Atrium

124 W. Michigan Ave., Lansing