Location: Murfreesboro, TN, United States
Completion date: 2018
Pam Marlene Taylor
Better Boro Project
Public Art Installation for City Park and Gardens.
I had the honor of creating this public art installation in partnership with City of Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation, Better Boro Project Public Health Programming, and Friends of the Greenway for the public park, walkway, and gardens “Gateway Island.”
Our mission included ensuring public walkway safety and integrating local flora seamlessly into the installation. As the founder of the Murfreesboro Poet Laureate Program, I had the privilege of expanding art and poetry within Gateway Island Park. Following the captivating Iris Garden installation, we introduced an interactive art and poetry space. The crowning achievement is a 60-foot fence, which stands as a symbol of the park’s evolving cultural enrichment.
As the park's namesake infers, the pathway flanked by this fence serves as the "Gateway" connecting one city area to another. The primary intent behind this installation was to steer pedestrians and cyclists toward the next segment of the greenway, establishing a visible safety barrier separating the path from the adjacent body of water. It was also designed to harmonize with the natural ambiance of the surrounding gardens.
In the material selection phase, paramount considerations included safety and the enduring quality of outdoor elements. Consequently, reflective outdoor privacy fencing was chosen to fulfill these vital criteria. Moreover, to complement the poetry integrated into the public art, the creative process involved weaving techniques and incorporated the state's flower, the Iris.
The project's realization involved the collaborative efforts of numerous individuals and entities, requiring a series of evaluations and consents. Given its dual purpose as a safety fence and a work of art, it necessitated approval from both the city's art committee and the city engineer.
Funding for this endeavor was generously provided by two instrumental organizations: the Better Boro Project and the Friends of the Greenway. Their endorsement of the final design was a critical step in the project's progression. To bring this vision to life, a volunteer from the Better Boro Project played a pivotal role in assisting me with the installation process, while the City maintenance team handled the fence's installation and cleaning, ensuring it was primed for the art installation that followed.