Citizens of Austin, Texas found an original way to celebrate April 20 – the unofficial pot smoking holiday. An 8-foot-tall bronze statue representing country singer Willie Nelson was unveiled on this occasion in Texas. Capital Area Statues Inc. was the non-profit organization that raised money for the sculpture, whereas Clete Shields was the artist who was chosen to create the 2,000-lb statue.
Willie Nelson is one of the most appreciated country musicians in America, so people in Austin, Texas decided to bring him homage through a bronze statue of himself. Since Nelson has always been a fierce sustainer of legalized marijuana, the unveiling of the statue took place on Friday, 4/20. The “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” interpreter was very pleased with the look of the statue.
Nelson told reporters that sculptor Clete Shields did “a pretty darn good job” representing him. The monument was even endowed with Nelson’s signature braids and his acoustic guitar, Trigger. The sculpture was not the only one wearing braids on Friday; the W sign at the nearby W Hotel was also embellished with this trademark.
Lawrence Wright, president of the board of the nonprofit Capital Area Statues Inc. stated that the organization has been through difficult times finding the right sculptor for this statue. He explained that they wanted an artist that could capture the electric, yet, human relationship that Nelson has with his fans during concerts. Wright further added that they chose to create Nelson’s sculpture because the artist made Austin “the live music capital of the world”.
The statue may be admired at the entrance to the Moody Theater along the Willie Nelson Boulevard. Various celebrities like musician/actor Kris Kristofferson and local residents took part at the ceremony. Alli and Richard Roberts – two local people – were very excited about the statue. They told Reuters reporters that Nelson is an excellent guitar player and he deserved to be honored with a monument.
The statue was unveiled on April 20, that is, 4/20 at about 4:20 p.m. local time and the moment was highly discussed on social networks. The country singer drew the attention upon the significance of the 4/20 symbol by asking the crowd what time was it.