By NEAL APPELBAUM
Woodbury's newest public sculpture has been installed. Titled "In Time Piece" the steel and concrete turtle, frog and mouse have found their home along the East Fork of the Stones River in Woodbury.
The Arts Center of Cannon County applied in 2016 to the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC) under their Creative Placemaking grant program for an 80/20 grant. TAC pays 80% of the project, donors pay the other 20%. The goal was public art for downtown that would help connect with the Arts Center's programming and support the notion that Woodbury is one of the Best Little Art Towns in America.
Cannon County sculptor Bret MacFadyen was offered the opportunity to propose what the art project would be. Woodbury property owner Dean Stahman provided the site at the corner of Doolittle and West Water Street.
MacFadyen looked to the river and to William Kooienga's recently completed 8 foot tall cedar sculpture "Currents" sited at St. Thomas Stones River Hospital for inspiration. He wanted to create something that was playful and would "feel" like it had just walked up from the river, a piece that would appeal to younger and older alike. The plan for the Turtle and his musician pals was hatched.
TAC approved project funding with Chinkapin Craftstead, Inc. and a few donors providing the match requirement.
Bret and Meg MacFadyen have lived in Cannon County for two years after thirty years in Nashville. Bret maintains a large workshop at their home here. Meg operates their gallery, Art and Invention, in East Nashville. They are the founders of the Tomato Art Fest, Nashville's largest one day art, produce, and music fair.
They left Nashville specifically for Cannon County: for their friends who already lived here, for our close community, the beautiful natural environment and mostly because "we noticed people doing things...making things...growing things...sharing time," said MacFadyen.
He would like to continue making things for Woodbury and Cannon County, maybe linking the elementary schools and high school with projects in town.
He's a believer that art can have a positive impact on community. From painting to sculpture, craft, music, dance, theater, written word, and even moonshine "there are so many people tucked away in Cannon County creating and doing wonderful things."
MacFadyen works with all building materials: wood, steel, concrete, anything durable, and paint. He loves to work with as much color as possible.
He is grateful to Dean Stahman for providing the location and to the Town of Woodbury and Daryl Fisher for site work. As many as 75 Cannon neighbors stopped to say hello while MacFadyen was installing the piece.
The next step is looking to the community for a proper name for the Turtle. The Arts Center will post a request for suggested names on Facebook. ACCC will compile the list, then put it out to a vote on Facebook.