Local artist picked to create Peyton Manning sculpture

Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning looks at the scoreboard during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Colts have tapped a local artist to create the Peyton Manning sculpture that will stand outside Lucas Oil Stadium.

The organization announced Thursday that Ryan Feeney has been commissioned to create it. The team said in March they would honor their former quarterback with a statue.

“It’s not just a piece of art. To me, it’s part of my life,” Feeney said in his north side studio. “It’s an opportunity of a lifetime the Colts have given me.”

Feeney is also the founder of Indy Art Forge and a 10-year veteran of the Indianapolis Fire Department.

The Colts did a nationwide search to pick the artist.

“They wanted somebody local, and I tried as hard as I could to get it and I did it,” he explained.

The sculpture will eventually stand in front of Lucas Oil Stadium and overlook downtown Indianapolis.

“It’s a great honor to him (Manning) because he’s one of the best quarterbacks that’s ever played the game,” said Alex Dyer, while walking into the Colts Pro Shop.

“I feel like he’s Manning a city monument, and I feel like this is representing him as a person,” Dawson Little said while at the stadium.

Feeney has a degree in graphic design and sculpting, but he first fell in love with art when he was 6 years old

“While other kids were out playing hide-and-seek, I went to art classes with my mom,” he said.

Feeney is also the sculptor behind the eagle that sits atop the Sept. 11 Memorial on the canal. He also created the Fallen Deputy Memorial outside the Marion County Jail. And in 2014, he unveiled the Peace Dove sculpture at the Central Library. That sculpture is made entirely from melted down guns.

Right now he’s working an a 6-foot-tall statue that will eventually stand outside the Firefighters Museum on Mass. Ave. But soon he’ll get to work on Peyton.

“This is probably as big as it gets. This will be the Super Bowl for me,” he said.

While Feeney submitted a prototype of the sculpture, he says he will work closely with the Colts and Manning on exactly what it will look like, including the size and the stance.

Feeney said the installment will take a year to create.

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