New sculpture installation hopes to revive North Chattanooga

By Taylor Ellis

CHATTANOOGA, TN (The Loop / UTC) – A recently approved ordinance will allow Graffiti art gallery a permanent art installation on the sidewalk just outside the studio on Cherokee Boulevard.

The work, which was the idea of owner David Jones and sculptor Bryan Rasmussen, will be installed outside the gallery in the upcoming weeks and will be a permanent resident of 505 Cherokee Blvd for at least the next year. The plans for the sculpture, which will be somewhere close to 10 feet tall when completed and weigh close to 1000 pounds, was first submitted to the city sometime in late November 2013. “I wasn’t sure who to even contact,” owner David Jones said about the beginning of the project. Eventually, the blueprints for the installation and photos of the work were submitted to the city engineer’s office where they waited to be approved.

Several weeks later, representatives from the city’s transportation department inspected the site for the sculpture to make sure there would be plenty of room for sidewalk traffic and cars alike. “I’ve been really impressed, even though it’s taken longer than I had hoped,” Jones said. The resolution for the installation was signed in early March, making it an official project scheduled for completion in the upcoming weeks.

“Harvester” during its creation.

“I’m hoping within two or three weeks we’ll have it up,” Jones said about the latest addition to his gallery. This will be the first commissioned piece that the gallery will feature outside the normal floor space. “The appeal to us was that it’d give us more street appeal,” Jones said, later adding that the the size of the sculpture would help to add more visibility from the street.

The work, which is called “Harvester,” is another in a long line of sculptures by local artist Bryan Rasmussen. In addition to his work outside Graffiti, Rasmussen’s works can also be seen on the campuses of Red Bank High School and Chattanooga State.

Rasmussen grew up in North Georgia and did not have any aspirations to be a sculptor in his early life. However, as an art student at the University of West Georgia, a required sculpting class changed his outlook and his life. Rasmussen has contributed many works to the studio at Graffiti, and has worked under acclaimed sculptor John Henry. 

A work by Bryan Rasmussen at Red Bank High School

A work by Bryan Rasmussen at Red Bank High School

Some of Bryan Rasmussen’s sculptures include:

Originally, the installation of the outdoor sculpture was planned for late February to coincide with a gallery show Rasmussen was featured in at Graffiti. However, the process of approval for a city project proved to be a much longer process that initially thought.

“Everybody has been really helpful with the city, it just had to go through multiple people.” David Jones said about the entire process from idea to approval. “I think it’ll be neat in giving this end of Cherokee Boulevard some more prominence.” In addition to the installation of the sculpture, several other activities are planned for the upcoming spring to help and draw attention to this area of North Chattanooga.

In late March, students from the Savannah College of Art and Design will display their photography in the studio at Graffiti. The group of student call themselves #ArtNomad, and their show entitled Symbosis has already been well received in two previous gallery shows in Atlanta.

For more information on other events coming to the area in the near future, be sure to check out the links here, here, and here.




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