The Sculpture Fields at Montague Park is a new gem on the Southside
A monumental event for the arts in Chattanooga is happening this weekend on the Southside. The grand opening of the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park is taking place Friday and Saturday on Polk St., just a block off of Main St. A wide range of entertainment will be happening at this free event, including an iron pour, live music, artist talks, yoga, and most importantly, the viewing of massive sculptures.
Curated by the legendary John Henry, 27 of these incredible works of art will be unveiled at the celebration, and 15 of the artists will be there to talk about the work. There’s not enough space in this article to adequately describe the backgrounds of all of the artists involved, so let it suffice to say that they are all highly accomplished and critically acclaimed.
Towering 65 feet over the park is Peter Lundberg’s “Anchors,” a tribute to Thomas J. Sullivan, David A. Wyatt, Carson A. Holmquist, Squire “Skip” Wells, and Randall S. Smith. It is entirely appropriate for one of the tallest sculptures in the nation to be dedicated to these five Marines who lost their lives in Chattanooga last year.
Mark di Suvero is a pioneer in the world of abstract expressionist sculpting. He was one of the first artists to use a crane as a sculpting tool. His piece “Swizzle” is a lyrical assemblage of H-beams and steel plates that looks like a giant sextant.
Linda Howard’s brushed aluminum pieces have played an integral role in the evolution of modern sculpture. Her work is an investigation of contradiction. “Star Center” uses lines to suggest a curved form in motion, and “Temple Mayan” uses them to create space.
Jesus Moroles has worked in over three hundred galleries and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution—in his piece “Granite Windows”, he seeks to create a dialog with the observer, sparking a discussion of how man interacts with nature.
Neltje’s “Woman” is a rare example of the iconic philanthropist and abstract painter’s sculptural work.
Lyman Kipp’s “Dragon Fly” and “Hugo” were vital to the development of the primary structure style of sculpture.
Verina Baxter, founder of the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance, made her sculptures to enrich the lives of others. Her piece “Captain Merkel’s Ramming Dragon” looks like a whimsical machine that might burn down a castle while blowing bubbles.
Carl Billingsley has recently gained international renown, winning the Andrea Stretton Memorial Invitational Award at Sculpture by the Sea-Bondi in Sydney, Australia in 2013. His “ Keystone of Space” emphasizes the negative space within, making the emptiness its subject.
Roger Colombik’s addition to the collection, “Some Waves Spark Stone,” is a meditative piece that evokes an ancient zen.
Claus Moor’s “H-1540” is a fascinating work that also explores contradiction, finding balance in its asymmetry.
The intricate tops of four pillars represent the elements in Hanna Jubran’s “In Harmony—Earth, Water, Fire, Wind”.
Doug Schatz’s “River City Queen” features sharp forms growing from the ground like crystals.
Jan Meyer-Rogge’s minimalist work deals with balance—”Gezentien VI” consists of three interlocking forms that support each other’s weight with an Escher-like symmetry.
Jane Manus has been producing elegant geometric forms since the 1970’s. “Think Big” is a classic example of her work, its dynamic composition enhancing the surrounding space like fine architecture.
George Schroeder’s “One” is reminiscent of a large tool, implying some mysterious function.
Jim Collins is best known for his series “The Watcher”, a silhouetted figure that can be seen sitting around town. His “Watcher with Red Shoes” sits atop a 25-foot pole, perhaps as a display of solidarity.
Gary Kulak’s iconic “Red Alert” looks like a giant red chair that suddenly came to life.
Bret Price’s sculptures are as much about the process as the finished product. “Peace Up” is an example of this, telling the story of its inception like a worn-out drill bit.
Barry Hehemann is a well-known figure in the Chicago sculpture scene and co-founder of Vector Custom Fabricating.
John Clement’s “Tangerine” features smooth, round forms interacting to suggest a fruit.
Heinz Aeschlimann’s “Composer” is writing a symphony with its graceful lines and forms.
John Henry’s contribution to the collection, “Betty Davis Eyes,” was built in the ‘80s. At the time, “Betty Davis Eyes” was one of the most popular radio hits, so John named the piece after the song. The story goes that when Betty saw a photograph of the sculpture, she asked “Do my eyes really look like that?”
Sculpture Fields at Montague Park will be open this Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visit sculpturefields.org/upcoming-events/ for a detailed schedule of events.