A citizen interacts with "Catfish Rodeo" (Francis Moxley Zinder, and Susan Elizabeth Breining, 2003, mixed media sculpture)

In October 2003 the city of Nashville Tennessee decided to celebrate National Catfish Month (August) by asking local artists and craftspeople to make 51 catfish sculptures which were positioned around the city.  The sculptures went on display in June and were auctioned off in October.  Sponsored by the Cumberland River Compact, Greenways for Nashville, and the Parthenon Patrons Foundation, the show was meant to raise awareness concerning water quality in the Cumberland River.

Bat Cat (Dan Goostree and Paige Easter, 2003, mixed media sculpture) photo by Jan Duke

Catfish are a major theme here at Ferrebeekeeper and I am delighted at the extent to which “Catfish out of Water” captured the amazing variety and hardiness of the Siluriformes.  The name even evokes the amazing ability of the walking catfish to survive out of water (although that formidable invasive fish has fortunately not made it to Tennessee). I have only put in photos of a tiny number of the original sculptures here in order to encourage you to visit the complete gallery of catfish sculptures lovingly photographed by Jan Duke and carefully displayed and enumerated at About.com.

Cafe Catfish (Andee Rudloff and Stacey Irvin, 2003, mixed media sculpture) photo by Jan Duke

 

Herring: A Tribute to Keith Haring (Dennis Greenwell, 2003, mixed media sculpture) photo by Jan Duke

Flying Catfish (Rosemary Lab Walters, 2003, mixed media sculpture) photo by Jan Duke

Catsup (Sensored.com, 2003, mixed media sculpture)

Hooray for catfish!  May the Cumberland River always run clean and pure (except maybe for some tasty rotting food scraps for the bewhiskered critters to snack on).

Striper (Bryan Roberson, 2003, mixed media sculpture)