MEMPHIS, TN July 16- UAC commissioned Memphis-based sculptor, Tylur French to create a sculpture for the exterior of the Cordova Library that encompasses the town’s rich natural history and encapsulates the vision of Memphis Public Library and Information Center (MPLIC) as a timeless vessel for literacy, early childhood development, educational achievement, workforce development, and the individual growth of Memphians.
The Artist Selection Committee expressed an interest in seeing a sculpture that creates an inviting atmosphere for library visitors, inspires imagination, and speaks to the values of the MPLIC which are welcoming helpful, fresh, fun, and transformative. The sculpture is also a great opportunity to reflect and highlight the importance of nature for Cordova historically and for the Library currently as its grounds are a Level 1 arboretum. For French “it was...the active and historical connection to nature that I found to be an important theme when considering this project. My aim is to draw upon the Library’s
surrounding natural landscape as well as the historical role of flowers and light agriculture that helped play a fundamental role in the history of this community.”
French is the same artist who recently completed the new Memphis landmark sculpture at the Memphis River Park with his team at Youngblood Studio, playing on color and letters in this sculpture project as well. The proposed sculpture will be stainless steel on the outside with a lush palette of color on the inside for contrast. A circle immediately surrounding the sculpture will have shrubs and plantings to compliment and further integrate the piece into the space.There will also be a large arched opening for visitors to interact and experience the sculpture from within as well. The three finalists for this project were Michael Warrick, Laurie Brown + Washington Glass Studio, and Tylur French. French will begin his design later this Fall.
This project is funded through City of Memphis’ percent-for-art program in partnership with UAC to create public art projects across Memphis neighborhoods. UAC manages the City’s public art program, recommending project opportunities and facilitating the artist selection process, design, fabrication and installation of projects.
The artist selection committee for the Cordova Sculpture project are Cordova resident, Raushanah Morgan, architect Valentina Cochran with Arch Inc., Dorothy Northern- Memphis-based artist and retired art teacher, President of Friends of the Cordova Library, Alice Burns, Cordova Library Branch Manager, Francis 'Zeb' Mathews, Memphis-based artist Arnold Thompson and Cheryl Swift with the City of Memphis Engineering Division (non-voting).