Owner: City of Leawood
Artist: Dennis Smith
Dates: Dedicated May 19, 2007
"Prairie Lessons" represents a unique collaborative effort driven by the Leawood Foundation in cooperation with the Leawood Historic Commission and the Art in Public Places Initiative of the Leawood Arts Council. Representatives from these groups selected internationally acclaimed artist Dennis Smith, known for his bronze sculptures of children, for a commission for an art piece representing the nurturing role teachers play in children's lives and honor the importance of teachers throughout history in the area. The life-size bronze specifically honors the contributions to Kansas society of the one-room school teachers up to today's educators. It is located in front of the Historic Oxford Schoolhouse in Ironwoods Park.
The sculpture consists of a teacher sitting on a rock reading a book to two students. On her right, a boy lays on his stomach with his head on his hands. He gazes off into the distance as he listens to the teacher read. On her left, a girl is seated next to her reading along. They are all dressed in period clothing.