By Dixy Yong
Memphis community gathered at the intersection of Chelsea and Hollywood on September 6 at a once neglected street corner to celebrate the installation of the District 7 Dogwood Gateway, a steel sculpture designed and fabricated by the Metal Museum, the only museum and work shop of this type in the U.S. The vibrantly painted sculpture signifies positive change and serves as a portal that symbolizes regeneration and resurrection for this District 7 neighborhood. The dedication brought together community members of the Midtown North Community Association and neighbors, as well as representatives of the organizations involved in realizing the Dogwood Gateway: the UrbanArt Commission and the City of Memphis, represented by District 7 Councilman Lee Harris. Rhodes College, under the leadership of Dorothy Cox, Community Liaison of the Office of External Programs, co-sponsored the event, which culminated in a performance by its jazz band, while students and volunteered to help prepare and clean up the area.
The Dogwood Gateway has a context: for each of the City’s districts, well-respected artists from the area are designing unique entry points to the neighborhoods. They are enriching Memphis with new landmarks and cultural assets that create places for people. This dedication is the first during the UrbanArt Commission’s fifteen-year-anniversary celebration, also marking the tenth anniversary of the City of Memphis Percent-for-Art Program.