published Friday, October 12th, 2012

Red Bank to offer public art displays

  • photo
    "Grendel," a steel and bone sculpture by John McLeod, sits in a park along Dayton Boulevard. The city of Red Bank is receiving a grant for installing works of art made by local artists in the park.
    Photo by Allison Love.
    enlarge photo

Pieces on display in Red Bank

* Celtic Dreams, bench, by Tony Wheeler — $1,000

* Embraced, sculpture, by Rondell Crier — $8,000

* Grendel, sculpture, by John McLeod — $6,500

* Rotation, sculpture, by Isaac Duncan — $10,000

Source: Barbara Brogdon, Red Bank Arts Committee

Red Bank is becoming an art gallery.

Four pieces of art — three sculptures and a bench — have been installed in the green space on Dayton Boulevard and Morrison Springs Road across from the Bi-Lo. All four pieces are visible from the boulevard.

Local artists Tony Wheeler, Isaac Duncan, Rondell Crier and John McLeod have leased works to Red Bank as part of a plan to bring more arts to the city. The project is just the first of many public art projects that residents hope to see in the future.

"I'd like to see sculpture all along here," said Barbara Brogdon, a member of the Red Bank Arts Committee and owner of The Gallery, an art shop on Dayton Boulevard, as she walked toward the park. "And they've got the White Oak Park -- the possibilities are endless."

Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga hosted a public forum last September during which many Red Bank residents asked the city to do more with art in the city, Mayor Monty Millard said.

"We hope that it will extend the signal that Red Bank is a welcoming place," he said. "A lot of people feel like having some statement will attract families."

The city budgeted $300 a year for the project and has applied for a grant from Allied Arts for $3,000, after the city made a $2,500 donation to Allied Arts, Millard said.

The pieces on display are not owned by the city, according to Millard, but they're for sale and may be changed out year to year.

Brogdon contacted local artists, asking for pieces to use in the park. If the pieces are sold, it is unlikely that the project will go away, she said, usually when a piece sells, the artist will give the city another piece to use.

If Tony Wheeler's bench, called Celtic Dreams, doesn't sell, he said he will probably donate it to the city. Each leg of the bench has Celtic-inspired designs carved into it, which inspired its name.

"This was a piece I designed specifically for the city," Wheeler said. "And it has a local connection. Part of the bench is made from a tree that fell years ago in the White Oak Cemetery."

Brogdon hopes the installation of the sculptures will inspire more art in Red Bank.

"We've all heard over and over again that arts build communities," she said.

about Rachel Bunn...

Rachel Bunn is originally from Ellijay, Ga., and graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in magazines and history. While at UGA, she wrote for the student magazine UGAzine, served as news editor for the student newspaper, The Red & Black, and spent a semester studying British history at Oxford University in Oxford, England. She has previously worked at The Rockdale Citizen in Conyers, Ga., and The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the ...

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