published Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Chattanooga sculpture park crowned


by Cliff Hightower
A crane holds one piece of Doug Schatz's work in place while he and other artists maneuver it into position. A crew of artists erected Schatz's piece, entitled "River City Queen," in the future sculpture garden at Montague Park on Monday.
A crane holds one piece of Doug Schatz's work in place while he and other artists maneuver it into position. A crew of artists erected Schatz's piece, entitled "River City Queen," in the future sculpture garden at Montague Park on Monday.
Photo by Jake Daniels.
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An old city softball field, shut down years ago because of its history as a landfill, received a crown Monday.

A new sculpture called "River City Queen" was raised at the site of Montague Park.

"It will look like a crown or tiara," said Doug Schatz, the New York-based sculptor who created the work of art.

The new art piece joins 15 other sculptures installed at the old softball park in the last few months. Two groups hoping to bring back some of Montague Park's original glory are now in the middle of rehabilitating the park.

On one end of the park, located between Main Street and 23rd Street, the nonprofit Sculptures at Montague Park is building a sculpture garden that will be home to dozens of sculptures. At the other end, the Chattanooga Rugby Club is building rugby pitches that can also be used for soccer fields.

Chattanooga sculptor John Henry, who has taken a lead role in establishing the sculpture park, helped Schatz raise the new sculpture Monday. The piece has five points placed in a circle to make a crown. Each of the long, slender pyramids ranges from 29 feet to 40 feet in length, Schatz said.

The piece is on donation as a semi-permanent piece at the park.

Henry said the first phase of the park is near completion and he hopes it will be open to the public by October. Once finished, the park -- which covers 25 acres -- will have walkways and landscaping, he said.

There are currently 16 sculptures and, by October, a total of 22 should be on the grounds, he said.

"When the park is fully built out, we expect 70 to 80 sculptures," he said.

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or facebook.com/cliff.hightower.

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