Ildikó Kalapács is a Hungarian American visual artist and folk dancer living in the United States. Her personal experiences of East and West, living in a socialist and later a capitalist country, and studying cultural layers through folk dance and anthropology have given her an appreciation of social diversity. Despite the importance of seeking cultural uniqueness in the era of globalization, Ildikó recognizes our common experiences, and the Bearing Sculpture is based on those experiences. 

Ildikó Kalapács is a talented and socially
committed artist. Her work is informed not
only by her international experience and
perspective, but also by a deep
compassion for oppressed peoples.

Ildikó, an internationally known artist, created the small bronze version of the sculpture in 2008 with grant funding from the Puffin Foundation, Inc.  In 2011, the Bearing Sculpture Project was founded in order to seek funding for the construction and the physical placement of the life-size sculpture. 

The Bearing Sculpture Description

The Bearing Project is a bronze sculpture depicting a figure carrying a man with a military-style rifle in a basket on her head. 

The sculpture celebrates the strength of people across the world as they carry the burdens that war places on the human spirit and the weight of the physical and emotional aftermath of war.

The Bearing Project is an invitation to consciously consider the effects of war as they ripple through the families and communities that make up the fabric of our society.

Besides the survivors of war, the life-size sculpture serves all kinds of professionals beyond the art community, such as veterans, politicians, educators, medical professionals, and even the military-industry complex.


“The Bearing Project is a thought provoking
sculpture that elicits reflection on war,
and not only its overt costs, but also the
hidden toll that is taken on by society
with a special emphasis on the role of women.”

-Lisa Brown, director of the
Washington State Department of Commerce