Published on April 22nd, 2021 | by TLV News0
Victory Dance II, Oxford’s newest public art piece
Local artist and sculptor Earl Dismuke will soon install a new monumental sculpture for the Oxford community to enjoy. The new piece will be located at the roundabout that connects South Lamar Blvd and Belk Blvd. The concrete pad supports the 20-foot steel structure. With International Sculpture Day being April 24, the city celebrated with an official unveiling on Friday, April 23.
The city of Oxford put out a request for proposals in October for the public art project, and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen announced in December 2020 that Dismuke would receive the bid to move forward. Dismuke said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to design and build a large-scale sculpture for Oxford, Mississippi, the town I love and where I have chosen to raise my family.”
The piece is part of a series entitled Victory Dance II. Dismuke wrote in his proposal, “Victory Dance II is a celebration of victories, both big and small. Each work in this series is made of rings. Rings are symbolic of relationships. Our relationships play a huge role in our success. The rings are welded together to symbolize connection. We are all connected. The circles depict movement and appear to be dancing in a celebratory way.”
Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill said, “Public art is inclusive and accessible. Street art and murals are the easiest way of tapping into the psyche of a place-and you do not need to step into an intimidating gallery or museum to do it. City leaders will continue to invest in Oxford’s public art. It is proven that the aesthetics of a community—art, parks and green spaces are important in community building. We will continue to promote public art that enhances the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”
Dismuke, a native of Winona, Miss., graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in sculpture. He now lives in Oxford with his wife and four children. He is a co-founder of the Yokna Sculpture Trail, a bi-annual rotating outdoor sculpture exhibition with locations around the community including Pat Lamar Park, the Powerhouse Sculpture Garden, the UM Sculpture Park and the University of Mississippi Museum. Dismuke currently has large scale pieces on display in New Orleans, La., as part of the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition, and at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, Miss. Dismuke was selected to participate in the Mississippi Museum of Art 2021 Invitational. He will install a smaller piece of the Victory Dance series this summer at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
A ceremony to celebrate the installation of Victory Dance II will occur at 1:30pm on Friday, April 23 in the University of Mississippi South Oxford Center parking lot across from the sculpture.