Controversy could be ahead for the middle of Nashville's newest roundabout. The road project is nearly complete on Eighth Avenue South, which sits in the shadow of the Music City Center, but choosing the artwork to go in the middle could be an even bigger hurdle.
Nashville is no stranger to controversial pieces of art. First, there was Musica at the roundabout on Music Row, and many objected to the artist's use of nudity.
Then, in 2007, Ghost Ballet was built on the banks of the Cumberland River near Lower Broadway, and people were split over its roller-coaster appearance.
Now, the Metro Arts Council has five finalists for the newest high-profile piece.
"All are a very different point of view, and I'm very interested to see how they translate that to Nashville. Because the other thing we've been very clear about is this needs to be a Nashville piece. It needs to feel and be about Nashville," said Jennifer Cole, executive director of the Metro Arts Commission.
The five finalists include Ursula Von Rydingsvard, who creates big, organic wooden sculptures; Donald Lipski, whose art is sometimes playful and sometimes dramatic; the team of Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt, who are often whimsical and sentimental; and Vito Acconci, known for his dramatic and astonishing islands.
"What I hope is that it creates a great conversation, and I can almost guarantee some of it will be positive and some of it will be negative," Cole said.
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