‘I’m going back home’

Published 7:42 pm Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11 was an exciting day in Tryon for the Nina Simone Project (NSP). After months of planning, fundraising and implementation, local residents had an opportunity to preview Zenos Frudakiss penultimate model for the Nina Simone sculpture

Frudakiss over-life-size model came to Tryon to accomplish several pragmatic and promotional purposes.

First, it was important both to sculptor Zenos Frudakis and NSP Executive Director Crys Armbrust to see the intended work at scale size situated in the actual space it would occupy: the Nina Simone Plaza. Tryon itself possesses an intimate townscape, and special consideration of scale and orientation are always needed. Tangentially, now that the sculpture has been sited in the Nina Simone Plaza, the plaza itself can be completed.

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Second, the preview was an opportunity for design-element discussions about the final version of the model before casting in bronze for the February 21 dedication.

Third, because sculpture is perhaps the most tactile of art forms, the preview event encouraged up-close access to allow residents, contributors and members of the press to interact personally with the model.

Fourth, Sunday was an ideal day to shoot photos for “JAZZIZ” magazines international profile of the Nina Simone sculpture project.

Lastly, the Nina preview provided the ideal forum to announce a new NSP partnership with the Marley brothers (Stephen, Damien and Julian sons of reggae legend Bob Marley) Ghetto Youth Foundation, whose support to the NSP includes a sculpture donation and a royalty donation from Stephen Marleys upcoming Nina Simone cover CD. (See&bsp; article on page 6.) Many readers might already be familiar with Stephen Marleys Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which garnered seven Grammy awardsthe highest award winner of all time. The not-yet-finalized Nina Simone model has now returned to Philadelphia. The upcoming months will allow Frudakis time to finalize his design before sending the model to the foundry for casting, a process taking upwards of twelve weeks. Upon her return to Tryon for the February 21 dedication (her birthday), Nina may seem to have lost a bit of herself, and she will have (since bronze shrinks an average of about seven percent in the casting process).