Singing River Sculptures on the way – Sheffield unveils the first in the series – SNEAK PHOTOS!

by Staff
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SHEFFIELD – The first of nine larger-than-life metal sculptures honoring the Shoals’ musical heritage will be unveiled at 2 p.m., on Sunday, Sept. 23, in Love Plaza in downtown Sheffield. The public is invited to the free event.
Sheffield is the perfect site for the first Singing River sculpture, organizers said. The town was home to several hit-producing recording studios, and rising stars of many musical genres performed at the Sheffield Community Center. Named “Singing River Sculptures” in honor of the Tennessee River, the series features 18-20-foot figures representing various influences on Shoals music.




Community volunteers Bill Matthews, inspired by a group of 18-foot sculptures of musicians he saw in Ireland a few years ago, and David Anderson, both of Florence, came up with the project. “I thought, ‘You know, many of us in the Shoals are Scotch-Irish, too. So we’re Irish and we’re musicians.’ And that led me to thinking about sculptures as a way to foster appreciation of the tremendous musical heritage in the Shoals,” Matthews said.





“Of course, Muscle Shoals is known for the Muscle Shoals Sound, but there was other music here, such as gospel, country, blues, black, American Indian, and rock ‘n’ roll as well as Scotch-Irish,” added Anderson. “All of that helped create the famous Muscle Shoals Sound.” The two approached the four Shoals cities — Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia. Each city agreed to spearhead funding for its own sculpture. A group of five more will be at an as-yet-undetermined site near the Tennessee River. Each sculpture costs about $20,000-$25,000, with all funds raised locally. Wise Alloys, of Muscle Shoals, is donating recycled aluminum for the sculptures.




“We are so grateful to Wise for doing this,” Anderson said. “Their involvement honors the history of aluminum manufacturing in the Shoals. It’s a great heritage that began in World War II and continues to this day.” Matthews, Anderson and others involved say this first unveiling is a pivotal point. “This is going to be huge,” Matthews said.  “These sculptures are going to be so jaw-dropping that people will drive to the Shoals just to see them — they are that monumental and dramatic. The unveiling itself will be a piece of history and then, in the future, the sculptures themselves will become cultural icons of our area and a part of our history.”

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1 comment

Bryan Van Devender September 13, 2012 - 1:21 pm

An article regarding sculptures ‘so jaw-dropping that people will drive to the Shoals just to see them’ and no mention of the ARTIST? Seriously? The artist’s name is Audwin McGee, Ms. Wood.


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