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Sculpture Fields, Part I: Pamela Henry, Cathy Clifford & Jay Heavilon

An aerial view of Sculpture Fields at Montague Park.
Sculpture Fields at Montague Park
An aerial view of Sculpture Fields at Montague Park.

More than a century ago - in 1911 - Mary Thayer Montague donated 49 acres of pristine land to the City of Chattanooga for use as a park.

But by the 1940’s, the park in the Southside had become a construction landfill.

Later, Montague Park was used for recreation: kite competitions, motocross racing, softball tournaments.

However, by 2003, the park had become a brownfield - and environmental concerns forced its closure.

A few years later came the idea of a sculpture park on the site - and sculptor John Henry led the grassroots effort to establish it safely.

In 2016, Sculpture Fields at Montague Park opened on 33 acres of the site - now the largest sculpture park in the Southeast.

"Ardent" by Andrew Light at Sculpture Fields.
Grant Dotson Photography / Sculpture Fields at Montague Park
"Ardent" by Andrew Light at Sculpture Fields.

This Saturday, the annual sculpture burn - Fire Up the Fields - will be held at the park, starting at 5:30 PM.

Today, the vision for the future of Sculpture Fields looks bright - as part of a recently-proposed reimagining of the entire Montague Park site.

With that in mind, we are looking back on the creation of Sculpture Fields with a series of conversations here on “Scenic Roots.”

Pamela Henry moved to Chattanooga with her husband John in 2000.

Sculpture Fields as it is today would not be here without them - and what stands there now is also a tribute to John, who died last year.

Cathy Clifford began working for John and Pamela in 2006 at John Henry Sculptor, Inc. - and then, as executive director of Sculpture Fields.

Jay Heavilon is emeritus honorary trustee of the Sculpture Fields Board of Directors.
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Stay tuned for more of our conversations on Sculpture Fields at Montague Park this week here on “Scenic Roots.”

More details on Saturday's Fire Up the Fields at sculpturefields.org.

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