Pittsburgh artist James Simon’s sculpture “Chattanooga Music Man” has been chosen by public vote as the next piece of permanent public art to find a home in Chattanooga.
The sculpture, one of three candidates funded by Public Art Chattanooga and the North Chattanooga Public Art Project during All Things North Shore last month, will be installed at Woodland and Frazier Avenues in a grassy area in front of Walgreens by the end of October. The sculpture is provided free of public funding.
“Dramatic, larger than life, unexpected, and elegant, the sculpture depicts a fiddler serenading to folks as they walk or drive by” said Simon. “ The fiddler ties into Chattanooga’s rich music and working class culture, both past and present. The music composition creates a universal ambiance of remembrance of times past, joy for the present, and future.”
Standing at over 8 feet tall and more than 4 feet wide, the sculpture will first be created in clay, and then with plaster molds which are cast in a special high-strength, glass-fiber-reinforced architectural concrete.
“My concrete medium has been proven and tested; it’s long lasting, all weather hardy, tough and low maintenance” said Simon.
A four-foot concrete foundation is poured under the sculpture with rebar running from the foundation into the hollow sculpture. The piece is then half filled with concrete, permanently securing it to the foundation.
More than 1,300 votes were tallied over a two week period from the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, local merchants and social media. With nearly 50 percent of the vote, Simon’s sculpture came away as the next piece to be added to the city’s award-winning public art program.
More than 75 artists nationwide submitted applications, three of which were presented as finalists for the community to vote on.
The Public Art Committee, which raised the funds to commission this work, celebrates the diversity and unique sense of community in the North Shore and provides this sculpture free of public funding.
Public Art Chattanooga, a division of the City of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department, is dedicated to introducing a wide variety of high-quality public art into the community, enhancing the civic environment and enriching the lives of visitors and residents.
All Things North Shore is co-produced by Public Art Chattanooga and North Shore Fellowship.
For more information on Public Art Chattanooga, contact Peggy Townsend at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit publicartchattanooga.com. For more information on All Things North Shore, visit facebook.com/AllThingsNorthShore.
For more information on James Simon, visit his website at simonsculpture.com.