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SEMO Student Smashes School's Sculpture Record, Making A Mark In Downtown Cape

Little St Louis.jpeg
Josh Seabaugh
Melanie Reichert and her friends standing under Little St. Louis. The piece can be found at Eden Spa in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

A student at Southeast Missouri State University has broken a local record with her sculpture. Melanie Reichert is responsible for creating the tallest sculpture at SEMO with her installed piece, standing at eleven feet and four inches tall.

Now located at Eden Spa in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Reichert worked for almost 200 hours in a single semester to complete her piece, spending time both in class and outside of class to complete her project.

Reichert admitted to the statue not originally being planned to be the size it is, but while in the process of making it, she added almost two additional feet to the base height of nine and a half feet. This was due to Reichert improvising while making it.

“It originally wasn’t planned to be that large. It was supposed to be around like, nine and a half to ten feet tall. I started going a little bit off based from my sketch and working intuitively, and it just ended up being eleven foot four”

Given 750 dollars for materials and a concept of making it historically based, Reichert was assigned the spot at Eden Spa and had to decide what to make. Before sketching what she had envisioned, Reichert had decided to put her own spin on the well-known Missouri landmark, St. Louis Arch, creating what she has called “Little St. Louis.”

“The person that founded Cape Girardeau, he was dispatched from St. Louis, so one of the nicknames of Cape Girardeau is “Little St. Louis.” So I decided to make something inspired by the St. Louis Arch, but in my own style. Which is more like crystal-inspired, very geometric”

Reichert hopes that the metal sculpture department will be able to receive more opportunities and more funding for the students. She says that typically, installed statues from her department are up for a year, then the student gets the piece back. However, due to positive reception from Eden Spa, Reichert believes the statue has the potential to be installed there permanently.