The Overton Park Conservancy’s gateway project has made the city’s crown jewel a more welcoming place. The arched sculpture that artist Tylur French of Youngblood Studio created from scrap bicycles was installed at the intersection of East Parkway and Sam Cooper Blvd in February 2014. The sculpture weighs 7,000lbs and is made up of more than 300 bicycles, each welded onto a steel frame.
Yvonne Bobo’s Rhapsody was recently installed at the gateway beside golf clubhouse. This ring-like structure is a movable sculpture that opens on a pivot. The individual birds that form the structure are made of COR-TEN steel and bronze and will change color as they age.
Two more gateways will be installed over the next few months: Ben Butler’s Growth at the one adjacent to the East Parkway Playground (this simple but dramatic archway, built from layers of steel, will call to mind the many natural forms found in the Old Forest), and another from Tylur French called Art Nouveau at the gateway between the Rainbow Lake Playground and Overton Park. It will feature bollards that control vehicle access while also offering educational panels about the plants of the forest.
Steel Guitar -- sculptor Christopher Fennell’s 2012 installation of a monumental gateway at the Levitt Shell -- honors the heritage, architecture, and mission of this beloved Memphis concert venue located centrally in Overton Park. This dynamic work of art, inspired by the silhouette of an electric guitar, was designed and fabricated by Fennell using recycled steel.