The “horse bank” is a Landmark

Maria Kalaitzandonakes

Photo by Carleigh Thrower
The metal horses gallop around on the corner of Stadium and Ash in front of Landmark Bank. As financial woes of Americans continue to pile up, it is oddly calming that these strong, metal structures stand outside the local bank’s doors. Protecting us.
Scrap metal makes up the bodies of the horses. From up close you can see what the pieces used to be: car parts, door hinges and too many screws to count. Together they form the strange remuda.
But finance is kind of like these recycled horses, isn’t it? Old businesses sputter out and build into new businesses. Houses sell and resell; change and remodel. Bonds lose value. Currencies are subject to inflation. Somehow though, the system trots on.
The horses stay there, too — their thick wire beam legs planted firmly in the ground, their snouts poking around in the grass for an answer to life’s difficult economic questions.
Harvey “the invisible hoof,” as I’ve dubbed the first horse, is glad to have company. Since the first day the Harvey came to town,  Mark Landrum added other horse sculptures to accompany him. They have become such a landmark (haha .. no pun intended) to the town, that when giving directions to someone I often say “Do you know where the horsie bank is?” And any Columbian would reply, “Of course.”
But, honestly, what I love about the sculptures isn’t just that they are made from recycled metal, or that they are so representative of the banking industry, or that they are landmark material. What I love about them is that they are “public art.” Landmark bank paid for, repairs and protects them, yet still leaves them available for any person to come and admire. This wonderful interest in public art is one of the reasons why Columbia businesses are special.
Sometimes, I drive by and bray at the sculptures. I think they deserve more than just a whinny.
By Maria Kalaitzandonakes