October 26, 2009 - The City of Knoxville will remove the “Treble Clef” sculpture located at the intersection of Gay Street and Summit Hill Drive at the recommendation of the city’s Public Art Committee.
The 6,000-pound monument - installed in 1986 by The Knoxville News-Sentinel Co. to honor the city’s country music heritage and celebrate the paper’s 100th anniversary – has become badly deteriorated and will not be reinstalled.
The bronze plaques at the base of the sculpture, which contain the names of area country music performers and donors, however, will be preserved, restored and reinstalled as part of a new configuration. That will take place sometime after the city completes the ongoing Gay Street Streetscapes Project.
The 18-foot-high fiberglass and metal sculpture will be dismantled next week.
The Public Art Committee made its recommendation after consulting with experts about the condition of the “Treble Clef.” The committee determined that its structure had been weakened by years of exposure and that surface treatment to improve its weathered appearance would not be adequate to ensure its ongoing viability.
There will be opportunities for public input before any decision is reached concerning any future art placed in the site.
The Public Art Committee was created in 2008 after the city determined it needed to establish a program to guide and manage art installations in city-owned spaces. According to the ordinance establishing it, the committee’s mission is, “to enhance the reputation of the community, contribute to the civic environment, and enrich the lives of citizens and visitors through the involvement of professional artists to integrate public artwork throughout the city.”
The committee consists of seven members, six of whom are appointed by the mayor.
At least two of those six must be visual artists and the others must have some expertise in public art or the visual arts. Additionally the city’s vice mayor appoints a member of City Council to serve on the on the committee.
All seven members serve three-year terms and are confirmed by City Council.