Last week, I installed a new sculpture at Watkins College in Nashville, Tennessee. This piece was a tribute to my father who was a longtime board member of the Watkins Board of Trustees. He was very influential in the arts in Nashville and he was very much a part of the art scene for many years. In this tribute, I decided to go with a boat theme. I always remembered him taking me and my brother to see the barges being launched at the Nashville Bridge Company downtown. It was a cool event for a kid (not a lot was going on in Nashville back then) and it is a memory that always stuck with me. Since Watkins is near the Cumberland River, I wanted to use the concept of the river to tie my memories and its proximity together. The boat is stainless steel and is see-through. I wanted it to be kind of like a ghost or memory rather than a solid boat form, so I went with a light color and a visually light form. The boat is modeled after an Adirondack guideboat–an artifact of the place I currently reside. For the other structure, I chose to mimic a form that I had made years ago (as a model) that my father enjoyed. He always said, “Why don’t you make this one really big?” So, I did. In the middle of the piece is a sphere with an anchor. The anchor is a nod to my dad who was the person that kept me grounded the most. The anchor is forever in stasis and unable to ever be used, so it functions as a memory similar to the boat. It was installed one year to the day from when he died.
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You have captured the moments! You know Walt would love it.
Stunning tribute to Walt! Love it.
I love this, and also knowing the connections of the visual elements with your intentions. I’ll enjoy seeing this and knowing it is a tribute to Walt.