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Artist Brian Russell Will Create Sculpture for UofM’s Scheidt Family Music Center

 July 26, 2019 - Noted local artist Brian Russell will create a sculpture for the forthcoming Scheidt Family Music Center at the University of Memphis.

 “The Spirit of Music” will be a freestanding abstract sculpture 9-by-4-by-3 feet made of forged aluminum with a natural brushed finish coated with acrylic lacquer. Three blue elements will be made from cast glass and attached to the aluminum mechanically. The fluid movement of the sculpture is meant to abstractly convey the rhythms, harmony and melody that comprise music.

The work is being sponsored by Barbara Mashburn, a longtime supporter of the School of Music, in honor of her late husband, William E. Mashburn, and her son, W. Brent Mashburn.

“On behalf of the College of Communication and Fine Arts and the wider UofM community, I want to express my gratitude to Barbara Mashburn for commissioning this renowned local artist to create a piece of sculpture for the lobby of the new Scheidt Family Music Center,” said Dr. Anne Hogan, dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. “Brian’s vision for ‘The Spirit of Music’ sculpture elegantly encapsulates the passion for creative expression that inspires our talented students and faculty. ‘The Spirit of Music’ will be a stunning centerpiece for our music center’s lobby.”

“As an alumna of both the Music and English departments and a longtime supporter, I wanted to show my appreciation for all the institution has meant to me, our city and our region,” said Mashburn.


Russell will build the sculpture entirely by himself at his Arlington studio. It is expected to be completed by December.

Russell started his art career by exploring black and white photography. After mastering the forging technique, he added wax glass casting to his works. His current art uses a fusion of forged metals and cast glass. In 2004, he began working again with fabricated sheet bronze forms as well as forged aluminum.

 The artist has received several commissions for monumental architectural sculptures. His works are displayed locally at Dixon Gallery and Gardens and in the courtyard of the First Tennessee Bank building downtown.