The Valdosta Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) and the Turner Center for the Arts recently awarded Molly Calloway a gift certificate for winning the Military Tribute Public Art Naming Contest. Calloway’s name suggestion, “Wings of Freedom,” was selected from among dozens of entries.
“The highly-visible monument located at Freedom Park has remained nameless, since the public event for the Military Tribute Public Art, held on Nov. 11, 2019,” said PAAC Chair Bruce Smith. “Everything was literally set in stone, with the exception of its name. The PAAC voted to hold the naming contest to further engage the public in this particular piece and in the arts community in general.”
The statue, an 11-feet high mosaic work that includes historical images fired on ceramic tiles, was created by Thomasville Artist Marty Haythorn, with some additional help from the community, as tribute to the men and women who have served in the armed forces in protection of our country.
Calloway said that she decided to name the art piece “Wings of Freedom” because of the way the eagle is displayed on top of the monument with fierce beauty and strength. She said she enjoyes viewing the photos of military heros depicted in the tiles on the monument, many of them affiliated with Moody Air Force Base and those who have once served at Moody.
“’Wings of Freedom’ just came to me in seconds, and the name seemed fitting,” she said. “I’m very honored and thrilled to be a small part of a really wonderful public art piece that honors our military.”
Calloway participates in Veterans Day events every year, and said she believes it’s important to continue to pay tribute to people who continuously fight for our country.
“I think we all need to be aware of those who defend and protect those freedoms that we all enjoy, and that the freedom came at a price. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t yet seen the monument to go visit Freedom Park, because it really is a very unique piece. I hope it is a community treasure years to come.”
For more information about similar events in the arts community, contact the Turner Center for the Arts at 279-247-2787.