Campus statues at ECHS highlight the American Spirit

 Can you hear the drums and the fife?  Patriots of the past have come to life in 3-dimensional form and are marching on the campus of Escondido Charter High School (ECHS) in Escondido, California.

Photo Jul 26, 3 38 05 PM

The American Spirit sculpture was inspired by Archibald M. Willard’s oil painting The Spirit of ‘76 circa 1876.  When Dennis Snyder, founder and executive director of ECHS, had the vision of bringing the one-dimensional oil painting into the 3rd dimension, he commissioned multi-talented artist/sculptor, Phyllis Peuker Raynes, to create a life-size, bronze sculpture of the three figures.  The American Spirit sculpture came to life on the ECHS campus when it was unveiled on May 28, 2008.

 “The sculpture reinforces an appreciation for our country and the sacrifices that have been made by previous generations – reminding us to not take freedom for granted” said Dennis Snyder at the unveiling ceremony.  American history is an important part of our lives.  At ECHS, students and viewers alike are able to look at the sculpture and touch the figures and realize that our American history can be traced back to 1776.  Since that time, future generations have continued the struggle for freedom in the United States of America.  This sculpture promotes and encourages the American “Can Do” spirit.

 Archibald M. Willard’s painting, The Spirit of ’76, has been noted as one of the most inspiring, patriotic American paintings since he created it in 1876.  It is hoped that The American Spirit sculpture will reflect and invoke a triumphant, proud, patriotic feeling and reinforce the American dream and hope for the future.

 The Patriots of the past are alive again!


About Phyllis Peuker Raynes:
Phyllis Raynes was born in Chicago, Illinois.  She had an early passion for art, beginning with carving bars of soap, and then continuing into studying of the masters.  Pursuing her love of working with the human figure, she discovered the joy of sculpting and has been working in bronze since 1993.  Phyllis is multi-talented and has a background working with oil paints, watercolor, and mixed-media collage.  Her work has been collected in Europe and throughout the United States.

American history has shaped our lives.  To know and understand our heritage is important.  Phyllis is intensely grateful that she had the opportunity to express her love of country by creating The American Spirit sculpture as shown in this brochure.