A local artist has finished sculpting a Ronald Reagan statue, which will go up in a Newport Beach park by year's end.
Miriam Baker's statue of the 40th president has been fully modeled in clay, and is now in the waxing process. After a wax mold is made, the statue will be cast in bronze.
It is slated to be dedicated in Bonita Canyon Sports Park, 1990 Ford Road, before the end of the year to honor the centennial of Reagan's birth.
The proposal to erect the statue stirred a public debate over whether and how to honor the Republican Party icon, who was born Feb. 6, 1911, in Tampico, Ill. Some residents opposed putting what they saw as a partisan statue on public grounds while others argued that Reagan's popularity transcended party lines.
Despite the controversy, Baker said she has gotten only positive reactions from city officials and friends. She said her biggest hope for the statue is that former first lady Nancy Reagan will visit it and like it.