On what would have been Nina Simone’s 77th birthday – February 21, 2010 – an eight-foot-tall sculpture of the late artist/activist will be dedicated in the town of her birth, Tryon, North Carolina. The sculptor of record for the piece is Zenos Frudakis, whose work appears in numerous private, university and government collections.
Simone’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, served as the life model for the sculpture, which will reside in Tryon’s central downtown district at Nina Simone Plaza.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Eunice Waymon-Nina Simone Memorial Project. (Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in 1933. She adopted the stage name “Nina Simone” in 1954.) The NSP was founded to honor Simone’s life. Aside from the having the Simone sculpture erected in downtown Tryon, the NSP’s goals include the creation of an endowed Nina Simone scholarship, the development of a music festival in Simone’s name, and providing outreach partnering opportunities for Simone’s designated charities.
Pictured above, the full-sized clay model for the bronze sculpture, which Laran Foundry will begin to cast, a process that will take three months to complete.
For more information, go to www.ninasimoneproject.org.
Photo by Jeff Byrd.