Major public art pieces slated for Public Square installation in May

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 10:05pm
Image courtesy of MAC

Nashville’s next major public art pieces will be installed May 16 and 17 at the Public Square downtown.

Metro Arts Commission Executive Director Jennifer Cole said Wednesday the three-piece work, titled “Exploration and Discovery,” will be dedicated June 1, framing the Davidson County Courthouse at three points.

The individual bronze works, which Ken Rowe created and are currently at a Texas foundry, are The Spark of Discovery, The Scholar and To The Moon. Each will rise approximately 6 feet and join Thomas Sayre’s existing works called Citizen.

“We think it’s a great counterpoint to Citizen,” Cole said of “Exploration and Discovery.”

Cole said the art pieces were inspired by Nashville’s cultural history.

“Every angle offers something interesting and detailed,” Cole said.

Rowe’s fee for the project is $80,600. Cole said MAC is finalizing costs for installation fees and will have a final project budget in July.

Cole said MAC is working with Tennessee Performing Arts Center officials regarding how to use the works of Rowe and Sayre as active pieces of classroom engagement in TPAC’s ArtSmart curriculum.

Rowe lives in San Antonio but offers a Nashville background, having once taught at both Belmont University and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

“His work is well connected here,” Cole said.

Rowe said he is glad to be able to provide Nashville, in which he lived for six years, the art works.

"I love Nashville," he said. "I felt like it was home, and it pained me to leave. I appreciate the opportunity both the Metro Arts Commission and the art community in general have given me. I feel welcomed in Nashville as an artist."

4 Comments on this post:

By: Kosh III on 4/21/11 at 7:55

More public art downtown and so far only one small public art outside of downtown.
I guess the artistic appreication of drunken tourists in more important than the people that actually paid for this with their tax money.

There IS more to Nashville than downtown!

By: Loner on 4/21/11 at 11:45

The burning question: Will these be bronze nudes? If so, "To the Moon" should be interesting...I thought they were trying to keep crack out of Metro. Think of the children!

By: Loner on 4/21/11 at 4:43

I see that an image has been added to this story....we can all rest easy....the bronze figures will be fully mooning....contrary to the recent rumors going around.

By: ACitizen on 4/22/11 at 9:48

It's not "more public art for downtown." The art for the Public Square was actually commissioned during the building of the garage and square so this isn't new Public Art.
In addition to the Citizen pieces, which are a significant revision from the original submittal by Thomas Sayre, three sculptures were also originally planned. I can't remember if the sculptural artist is the same one originally selected ( I suspect he is), but these sculptures appear to also have different names from the original submittals.
The Citizen pieces are a significant improvment over the original concept of whirlygigs over the east reflecting pool and the colored fog machine over the west reflecting pool first proposed by Sayre. I hope that Ken Rowe's 3 sculptures are also an improvement over the original submittal, which was hopelessly pedantic and common.

A Citizen