Dances With Bisons Starring Costner and Detmers — UPDATED 5/15/12
March 7, 2011
Rapid City Journal reported on the case brought by Pegy Detmers, an artist who created a bronze sculpture for Kevin Costner, against the latter to force the actor/singer to sell her work of art.
The first hearing took place on Feb. 22, 2011. Detmers allegedly she spent more than six years creating the sculpture, titled “Lakota Bison Jump,” of 14 bison and three American Indian hunters for a resort Costner was planning to open in South Dakota’s Black Hills. According to the artist, her sculpture may be worth between $2 and $4 million.
The issue before the Fourth Circuit Judge Randall Macy is “whether or not there was a mutual agreement between Detmers and Costner on the site where the massive artwork now sits.” Supposedly under the terms of the contract, Costner was obligated to display the sculpture by 2010. Given that the resort was not finished, Detmer wishes Costner to sell the work.
Costner testified that he still wants to build the resort he planned 20 years ago. He also testified that he paid Detmers a $350,000 artist’s fee.
Image: Detmers Studios.
On May 10, 2012, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that Kevin Costner did not breach a contact with the artist. The court, in its ruling, wrote:
“We restate and consolidate Detmers’ issues on appeal to whether the circuit court erred in determining that the sculptures were “agreeably displayed elsewhere,” as required under the contract. Under paragraph three, Detmers would only be entitled to specific performance if The Dunbar was not built or the sculptures were not “agreeably displayed elsewhere.” The issue at trial was whether Detmers agreed to displaying the sculptures at Tatanka, which is a factual inquiry. The circuit court concluded Detmers agreed, as demonstrated by her conduct and actions, to permanent display of the sculptures at Tatanka.”
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