Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tigers Around Memphis

We were introduced to one of the Tigers Around Town in yesterday’s entry.

All I need to see are a couple of sculptures that a town has designated as representing the town’s history, “trademark,” or university and my curiosity jumps. Memphis has combined two of these characteristics in its gathering of these tigers.
1948 "Starry Night"
by Darla Linerode-Henson

“To celebrate the University's Centennial, the Alumni Association will place life-size Tiger statues all around town beginning January 2012. Each statue has been uniquely decorated with artwork by Mid-South artists, students and alumni. The Tiger statues are sponsored by local fans, alumni and businesses and will be on display at their chosen locations throughout the 2012 Centennial Year!
1951 "Sage"
by Lizi Beard-Ward

2011 "Britty"
by Betsy Bird

“It is our hope that Tigers Around Town will not only bring many alumni back to campus but that it will also help build awareness of the integral relationship between the University and the city of Memphis” (memphis.edu/ alumni/tigers aroundtown).

1988 "Rudy"
by Tim Gorski

And then I read: “All 100 statues are out on the prowl in Memphis.”
1987 "Pete"
by Clay Darrow

I don’t know why, but when I learn that there are 100, 50, or even 10 themed sculptures around a city, I feel compelled to find each one (to learn my way around town [at least that’s my rationalization]) and to photograph each one.
1979 "Basketball Tiger"
by Caitlyn and Sterling Lyons

1915 "Jan"
by Debbie Richmond

So, here are the results of my search before distance and the cost of gasoline prevailed to limit my quest. Each sculpture represented a year and a significant milestone for the University that occurred in that year. The artist and the title of his/her interpretation are noted. I have omitted the event of the specific year.

As you can see, the artists' conceptions ranged from the coloring and appearance of real tigers to canvasses for unique works of art.
1925 "Presentation of the Blues"
by Steven Harper

1932 "CampUS"
by Mary Larrick and Campus School Students

1976 "Blue Glass Tiger"
by Christopher A. Reed, assisted by Adam Silver

1927 "Dreamers"
by Joy Routt

2003 "Your Neighborhood, That's Where We Are"
by Steven Harper

2005 "Skyline in Memphis Blue"
by Tim Gorski

1990 "Tiger Lily"
by Bettye Brookfield

1923 "Blue on Blue"
by Livia Carboni

I thought that two of the most interesting presentations of the three dozen tiger sculptures that I saw are shown below. The first is the tiger covered with newspaper comic strips.
1964 "Super Kitty"
by Chuck Parr

The scenes show the adventures of super hereos.

To find the second of my two favorites, I had to stop at a large Ford dealership to ask where on their lot the sculpture was.

"It's right inside" was the answer. Opening the showroom door, I was "confronted" with a 400hp, V-8 Mustange Boss 302.
1919 "Tail of Two Cites"
by Bonnie Gravette

After a brief discussion about mid-life crises, the salesperson directed me to the sculpture shown in the two photos above.

But before ending the conversation, he asked, "Have you seen the horses of Germantown? It's their version of the Tigers Around Town. There are several just down the street."

As you can see, I could not resist the urge to begin a new search. Fortunately, this horse covered with small mirrors was unique. So unusual that I thought others could not compare.
Thus ended the search.

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