Going West on the Santa Fe Trail
Owner: City of Olathe
Artist: Kwan Wu
Dates: Dedicated August 14, 2008
Medium: Bronze, concrete
AKA Stagecoach, Stage Coach
The northwest corner of the intersection of Kansas City and Ridgeview Roads is a scene reminiscent of what travelers along the Santa Fe Trail saw 150 years ago. It is a life-size depiction of a group of 15 travelers, including the horses, on a stagecoach with a 16th person, a woman, seeing them off as they continue their journey west.
The ten human characters represent different people from that time period. They are men, women and children of different ages and races. One pair, a woman and a boy, are separate from the rest of the piece, giving the artwork life and depth. The woman leads the boy by the hand and the boy is holding what looks like an origami bird. The lead pair of horses also emerge from the relief although they are still tied to the rest of the team and the stagecoach but they still add life and depth like the woman and boy. A flock of birds flies over the party.
The art work is a bronze relief mounted on a concrete wall that is 60 feet long and 15 feet tall. The artist, Kwan Wu, used people who worked at the nearby Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site as models for the people in the art. The artwork was commissioned and presented by the Olathe Sesquicentennial Committee to the people of Olathe in celebration of the 150th birthday of the City of Olathe.