A local power pole company is finishing the installation of Nashville’s tallest and most expensive public art piece. According to Nashville Public Radio, the Rains Electric Company has spent the last month drilling into solid Tennessee bedrock in the middle of a roundabout.
Workers have their work cut out for them with the art installation, called “Stix.” The art piece consists of dozens of cedar poles, 70 feet tall, and they’re twice the size of the electrical poles for which the company is used to drilling. But David Rains, company president, told Nashville Public Radio that it’s not the size of the art piece’s poles that’s the struggle.
“Now, the angle … that’s kinda going to be the little hair in the ointment there,” he says. “The most angle we’ll have will probably be on a pitch of about 17 or 18 degrees. I don’t think there’s a single one that’s straight.”
The $750,000 project, by German artist Christian Moeller, has faced scrutiny since it was first approved in 2013. Caroline Vincent, public art director for the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, believes people will come around once they see it, saying the completed work will “speak for itself.”
In a statement back when the choice was announced, Moeller said, “During this process, I revisited Native American arts and was reminded of the striking distribution of color applied to natural surfaces, very often wood, in these native works. Instead of developing an artwork for the roundabout, my goal became to turn the entire roundabout into an artwork.”
Nashville Public Radio reports that Rains Electric Company will start putting the poles up a few at a time this week and finish in October.
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.