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Lawrence Argent, creator of Sacramento airport’s red rabbit, dies at age 60

“Leap,” the 56-foot-long red rabbit seen inside Sacramento international Airport’s Terminal B, was created by Denver artist Lawrence Argent, who died Wednesday in Denver. He was 60.
“Leap,” the 56-foot-long red rabbit seen inside Sacramento international Airport’s Terminal B, was created by Denver artist Lawrence Argent, who died Wednesday in Denver. He was 60. rpench@sacbee.com

Lawrence Argent, a well-known artist and sculptor who created “Leap” – the huge red rabbit seen at Sacramento International Airport – died Wednesday. He was 60.

According to KUSA-TV in Denver – where he lived, created “I See What You Mean” and was the head of sculpture at the University of Denver’s School of Art and Art History – Argent died unexpectedly following a surgical procedure.

“He wanted to make an impact,” Victoria Medina, one of Argent’s students, told the TV station. “He wanted people to feel his work, not just see his work, but to feel his work and that’s why I respected him.”

In Sacramento, “Leap” – an $800,000, 56-foot-long aluminum red rabbit that’s suspended above the bottom floor of the airport’s Terminal B – debuted with the opening of the revamped terminal in October 2011.

Argent visited the Crocker Art Museum in November 2014 to talk about “Leap.”

“When people see it, it’s very important for them to understand ... the complications that perhaps no one ever sees,” he told The Bee’s Cathie Anderson before the lecture.

Argent was born Jan. 24, 1957, in Essex, England, and raised in Australia, as reported by The Know, an entertainment website run by The Denver Post.

According to the bio on his website, Argent received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sculpture from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and later a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rinehart School of Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Argent has numerous works around the world, including Houston, San Francisco, Melbourne and China.

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