Sculpture Of Marguerite Noble Unveiled During First Friday

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The bronze sculpture of area legend Marguerite Noble began as a 1500-degree fiery gob of bronze. That specific method of immortalization seems appropriate for a woman who artist Gail described as a "spitfire."

The sculpture will be unveiled Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Down the Street art gallery.

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Gail

Artist Gail --o last name -- was fortunate enough to know Noble, who died in January 2007, shortly before her 97th birthday.

Noble was known as a town historian, though Gail noted, "she's history itself."

Born on Jan. 29, 1910, at the bottom of Roosevelt Lake, Noble eventually moved to the Valley for high school since there was none in Rim Country, according to her son, Roger Buchanan.

"The place where she was born," Buchanan said, "is now literally under water."

Noble taught English for 30 years, and went on to write three books, only two of which were published. "She would never let me send it (the third one) in because she wanted to read it over one more time."

Noble's handwriting remained impeccable until her death, Buchanan said. In her most famous book, the historical novel "Filaree," Noble tells the story of her mother raising children in the sparsely populated pioneer West. It was published in 1979.

People consider the literature that of a liberated woman, Buchanan said. But, "my mother never sounded like a liberated women. She was a country woman so they were sort of born liberated."

Gail fondly remembers Noble's sense of humor.

"Some days she could hear and other days she couldn't," Gail remembered. Gail said she asked Noble about her varying auditory abilities. "She leaned up and said, ‘Honey, do you know how old I am?'"

She will produce an edition of 30 maquettes.

"I tried to sculpt her somewhere near the age she would have been when she wrote ‘Filaree,'" said Gail.

To determine the sculpture ‘s shape, Gail examined photographs depicting the woman in various stages of her life, as a teenager and an older woman.

"Your bone structure doesn't change," Gail said. "That's what I use, the skeletal measurements to capture somebody."

The idea to sculpt Noble came in the shower. Gail says her ephiphanies normally come when submerged in water. It makes sense, she says. A relaxed mind is more readily inclined toward inspiration, though perhaps not soon enough.

"I wish I had thought about it when she was still living," Gail said.

"She was very loved in this area," Gail said. "If they respond well, it's because hopefully, maybe I've captured a little bit of her."

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