The Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission plans to move a 9-foot-tall, 4,000-pound limestone sculpture from in front of the Artists Colony Inn.
But where it’s going, they don’t know yet, after the town council vetoed the commission’s suggestion.
The commission wanted to move the “Dancers” sculpture by William Galloway to the Pat Reilly parking lot, a town-owned property at the dead end of Jefferson Street.
The sculpture was a gift to the town to mark Nashville being named an Indiana Cultural District in 2012.
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The one the town received was actually a remake; the original broke in transit.
Galloway, from Bedford and Brown County, helped install it on the corner of Franklin and Van Buren streets in November 2014.
Arts commission member Michael Fulton told the town council May 17 that the property owner asked several months ago for it to go somewhere else, and after several discussions, the commission settled on the Pat Reilly lot. But town council member Arthur Omberg — who counts Galloway as an “acquaintance” — said the piece should be moved to an equally prominent place.
Galloway has done work for the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and the Iowa State Capitol.
“My only issue is, he is a nationally and internationally renowned artist, and to put him in very south end in a parking lot — I would rather have it at the Four Corners,” Omberg said.
“I hate to say it, but down at that parking lot you don’t know what might happen to it,” said town council member David Rudd. Lampposts have been vandalized in that lot in the past.
Fulton said the commission had reached out to Galloway for his guidance but hadn’t heard back.
He said anytime the commission places a public art piece on private property — which nearly all of them are in town — this kind of issue might arise. A similar discussion about long-term placement was had when the “Soaring” leaf sculpture was placed at Main and Van Buren, and that building is now for sale.
He said the landowners asked that “Dancers” be moved because it wasn’t exactly what they were expecting and they “weren’t sure it blends into the total ambiance of the property” — but it wasn’t a move that had to be made right away.
“We want to make sure that where we place it (next), it will have some permanency,” Fulton said.