Local artists have taken an abstract concept and brought it to life. After a few years in the making, the evolution of what has been known as a “sculptural soundscape” has been revived on paper.
The new design, courtesy of UT Martin arts professor Jason Stout, local potter Clint Riley, and UT Martin music professor Julie Hill, boasts three elements of appeal.
The “playable art” plans to be aesthetic in nature, while providing visitors with visual, audio and interactive components.
Hill said she was eager to jump back on board with Stout and Riley as she was able to lend her expertise in sound to the original design. The concept was first developed a couple of years ago when UTM student Joel Flowers attempted to bring a similar sculptural soundscape to life as a University Scholars project.
Stout created the original design while Hill helped determine what sounds would be created when a particular object was manipulated. Flowers was charged with fundraising and publicity for the project.
Sensing the endeavor would become more time-consuming in scale and scope, Flowers moved on to a different venture.
After consideration and a desire to not abandon the purpose of a soundscape, the Martin Historical Business District enlisted the help of Riley.
Riley, a potter who owns Six Toe Studio in downtown Martin, said he wanted to reincarnate the project.
“I am not a metal sculptor, but I think I have the friends and resources to this done. I knew it was not going to be the same design. This project is good for the community and a well for art. We recreated it and gave it new life,” Riley said.
Coming together to create a design concept was not nearly as challenging a task for the trio as having to scale back on the scope of the project.
The three admitted it was easy to be together during the brainstorming process.
“It’s changed form after meeting with Julie. The project got really big. But I don’t think we’ve cut anything out by scaling back,” Riley said.
The group determined while they were not limited by their imaginations, they were limited, however, by their available resources.
The soundscape must be able to withstand Mother Nature’s elements as well as Father Time. The goal is to create a piece of art that resonates with sound. The hope is that the piece would require little maintenance throughout the year.
A Facebook page has been designated for updates on the project at Historic Martin Soundscape and Sculpture.
Donations for the community project can be sent to: Monograms and More, c/o Martin Historic Business District, 413 South Lindell St., Martin, TN 38237.