- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - With its twinkling lights, shimmering reflections and occasional faint jingle, downtown’s newest art sculpture invites visitors to explore Nashville from present and past perspectives.

Using guitar picks, LED lights, stainless steel and ipe wood, two artists re-created the Cumberland River in a 45-foot-high sculpture towering over the new West Riverfront Park, which is set to open in a few weeks.

The immense structure’s bends and curves reflect the shape of the Cumberland as it winds through Davidson County and the medley of colors it turns during different times of day.

Artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan built Light Meander to serve as a “beacon” to draw people from downtown to what will be one of its few open green spaces, according to Caroline Vincent, Metro Arts Commission director of public art.

“The park and sculpture will work together to reconnect people to the river that used to be the lifeblood of Nashville; it’s why Nashville is even here,” Drugan said. “The connection to the river was lost, but now the city is rediscovering the river.”

Every aspect of Light Meander bears significance to Music City and the Cumberland, and Drugan said he and Haddad intend for visitors to interact with it.

Wood planks make up its base, forming a bench for park visitors. Underneath the seat, guitar picks hang to compose soft chimes when a breeze or curious person clings them together. Stainless steel covers the next section of the structure on the riverside, creating “reflections of reflections” as its undulations reflect light off one another.

LED light rods on the side facing downtown will be programmed to “pick up on effects of the river’s sparkles and shimmers,” Drugan added.

Topping off Light Meander are more reflective guitar picks coating it like sequins.

Light Meander’s many lights and reflections will ensure “different experiences from every angle,” Drugan said.

While the shapes and sounds of the structure pay homage to existing Nashville features, one detail references something from the city’s history.

The direction a former Demonbreun tributary once flowed into the Cumberland thus dictates the way the sculpture faces.

Light Meander joins the red-painted steel trusses of the nearby Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks statue along the once-barren riverfront. Each artwork tells a piece of the river’s history, said Jennifer Cole, executive director of the arts commission.

“What we really hope is that the sculptures begin to speak to each other and sort of connect people to the history of the river,” Cole said.

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