Art in Public Places announced that the Marcia and Marvin Gilliam, Jr. Foundation is sponsoring a bronze sculpture featuring two musicians playing their instruments standing behind a microphone. Named "Take the Stage," the sculpture will be permanently placed in Cumberland Park across from the Birthplace of County Music Museum.
An $85,000 contribution on the part of the Marcia and Marvin Gilliam, Jr. Foundation will fund the sculpture. "Marcia and I are long-time supporters of Bristol's Art in Public Places and are delighted to have the opportunity to help them showcase Bristol's status as the Birthplace of Country Music," said Marvin Gilliam. " This permanent sculpture reminds us of scenes from the old country music shows on television that were so common when we were growing up in Southwest Virginia. We believe that the images of the musicians are a timeless one of a scene that could have been from 60 years ago, 30 years ago or even today. We hope that this piece will become a favorite of the people from this area and for tourists alike as they step up to the microphone, have their picture taken and share in the history of country music."
Candy Snodgrass, president of AiPP said "As an organization Art in Public Places is thrilled to announce the second permanent piece of sculpture for Bristol. To have the Marcia and Marvin Gilliam Foundation see AiPP's vision of permanent art and agree to sponsor such a wonderful piece makes all our hard work worthwhile. The idea for the sculpture came from our board member Mary Jane Miller, a local interior designer. She worked with well known Bristol sculptor, Val Lyle, to bring her idea to life. Val is an extremely talented artist, and we are so lucky she has chosen to work with Art in Public Places in the design and creation of this piece of sculpture."
An engraved granite base will support the cast bronze life-size figures of a male and a female musician playing guitar and fiddle respectively. Between the figures will be a microphone complete with footprints in the granite affording photo opportunities galore.
"Take The Stage" will be dedicated Friday, Aug. 1.
About the Sculptor
Val Lyle graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ringling College of Art and Design with her BFA and received her MFA from East Tennessee State University. After graduation Lyle moved to New York City where she exhibited and maintained an artist studio for eight years. She has received several National Endowment for the Arts/Tennessee Arts Commission grants and has had numerous solo exhibitions in museum, non-profit and alternative spaces. She has been a professor of studio art and lecturer for 14 years, currently she is part of the sculpture art faculty at Emory & Henry College.
Lyle is resident studio artist at William King Museum in Abingdon, Va. She is represented in museum, corporate and private collections.
Lyle also has permanent artworks with the cities of Abingdon, Va., Kingsport Tenn., and Carroll Reece Museum in Johnson City, Tenn.. She is active with Tri-State Sculptors, Mid-South Sculptors and The International Sculpture Center. She is also the designer of the caterpillars in Bristol's Caterpillar Crawl.