Literary Capital Bronze Sculpture Trail

The Literary Capital Sculpture Trail consists of 14 bronze sculptures on permanent exhibit in Historic Downtown Monroeville honoring the 10 writers credited with making Monroeville/ Monroe County the Literary Capital of Alabama.

The trail has one sculpture for each of the 10 writers, one to represent the Pulitzer Prize (won by 3 of our writers) and a second sculpture for each Harper Lee, Truman Capote, and Cynthia Tucker.  This trail will help both locals and tourists have a better understanding of the area’s rich literary history while permanently honoring our writers through art.

Literary Trail map illustration


“This Literary Capital Sculpture Trail project is a unique way to honor and memorialize the many talented writers who have Monroeville roots, and to see them and their creations through the lens of a talented group of artists.  The project informs, entertains and educates, while bringing beauty and quality to Monroeville’s Main Street district.  The City of Monroeville is honored to have this as a permanent installation in its downtown and to be in partnership with Monroeville Main Street, the University of Alabama and this very acclaimed group of authors."

- Sandy Smith, Mayor, Monroeville, Alabama

 

 

1. Truman Capote’s Hat & Glasses

Bronze, 2019 by Morgan Harrison

Location:  31 North Alabama Avenue / Monroe County Museum – Southeast Entrance

Honoring:  Truman Capote

Born in New Orleans, Truman Capote lived much of his childhood with his mother’s relatives in Monroeville, Alabama, where he lived next door to and was best friends with Harper Lee.  Capote’s first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was published when the author was 24: by the time he was 30, Capote had won the O. Henry Award for best short story of the year three times and was one of the most talked about writers in American literature. His short story A Christmas Memory is one of the most frequently anthologized stories in American literature.  His most famous work, In Cold Blood (1966) announced the “nonfiction novel” and became one of the most acclaimed and influential books written by an American during the last third of the twentieth century.

About the Artist:

Morgan Harrison is a senior at the University of Alabama majoring in Art History and minoring in Studio Art. Morgan is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Sponsor: Harrigan Family Trust

Sculpture of hat and glasses

 

 


2. Innocence Lost

Bronze, 2019 by Jennifer Gault

Location:  31 North Alabama Avenue / Monroe County Museum – Otha Lee Biggs Amphitheater

Honoring: Harper Lee    

Born in Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee wrote the 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  Within two years of its first publication, it had been on the bestseller list for 100 weeks and sold five million copies in 13 countries.  Over five decades later, To Kill A Mockingbird remains a standard text in high schools throughout the world and is one of the best-loved novels of all time.  Her second published novel, Go Set A Watchman, was released in 2015. In 1998, The Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer was named in her honor.   Among her many honors and awards are the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2007), Alabama Writers Hall of Fame (2015), and Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame (2019). In 2018, To Kill a Mockingbird was selected as America’s favorite book through PBS’s Great American Read.

About the Artist:

Jennifer Gault is a sculpture artist currently based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama in 2018. While she works full time as a fire alarm technician, Jennifer continues to create work in her spare time and is passionate about fostering creativity in others and actively participating in public art projects.     

Sponsor: Pending;

 Bronze sculpture of justice gavel

3. The Universe Inside

Bronze, 2019 by Jim Harrison, III

Location: 39 North Mount Pleasant Avenue - The Printery

Honoring: Rheta Grimsley-Johnson

A former resident of Monroeville, Rheta Grimsley-Johnson wrote for the Monroe Journal for several years before leaving to write for the United Press International.  She has won numerous awards including: the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Distinctive Writing Award for Commentary, the Ernie Pyle Journalism Award and the Clarence Cason Award for Nonfiction, and she has been inducted into the Scripps Howard Editorial Hall of Fame.  Grimsley-Johnson received the National Headliner Award for Commentary and was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1991.  She wrote the authorized biography of “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles Schultz.

About the Artist:

Jim Harrison, III is a native of Tuscaloosa and the owner and director of Harrison Galleries, LLC, an art gallery specializing in 19th and 20th century paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture and photography. He serves on several business and non-profit boards across the state and the region including presently as Vice Chairman of both the Alabama State Council on the Arts and South Arts in Atlanta, GA.             

Sponsor: The Monroe Journal

 Bronze sculpture of classic typewriter

4. Prissy the Cat

Bronze, 2019 by Alyson Smith

Location: 29 North Mount Pleasant Avenue - RSVP

Honoring: Riley Kelly                    

A native of Excel, Alabama, Riley Kelly wrote for and served as the editor of The Monroe County Journal and The Frisco City Sun.  He also served as a regional correspondent for The Montgomery Advertiser, The Mobile Press Register, and The Birmingham News. Additionally, he had a distinguished career as an award winning poet.  He had more than thirty award-winning poems published in The Alalitcom, an annual anthology of the Alabama Writer’s Conclave.  His published works of poetry include: In Search of Light (1969), Patterns (1970), and The Human Way (1974); Anthology Contribution: Scrod I (1984) – ten poems in an anthology with other poets, and winner of the Book of the Year Award from the Alabama State Poetry Society.  Mr. Kelly also published numerous articles and works of poetry in other magazines and journals.

About the Artist:

Alyson Smith is a senior at the University of Alabama pursuing a degree in Digital Art.

Sponsor: The Family of Patrick Carter

 Bronze sculpture of cat on a bench

5. Composed Victory

Bronze, 2019 by Zane Boyd

Location: 15 North Mount Pleasant Avenue - Monroeville/Monroe County EDA

Honoring: William Barret Travis

William Barret Travis settled in Monroe County with his family in 1818, who helped found the communities of Sparta and Evergreen.  Travis later became an attorney and began the publication of a newspaper, the Claiborne Herald, became a member of the Masonic order at Alabama Lodge No. 3, and accepted a position as an adjutant of the Twenty-sixth Regiment, Eighth Brigade, Fourth Division, of the Alabama Militia.  He is best known, however, for his role in the Texas army during the attack of the Alamo.  Travis’ letter of February 24, 1836, from the besieged Alamo that he addressed “To the people of Texas and all Americans in the world,” is considered by many to be one of the most dramatic letters written in American history.            

About the Artist:

Zane Boyd is a second year Art student at the University of Alabama where he is focusing on Sculpture

Sponsor: Monroeville/ Monroe EDA

 Metallic sign on brick wall

6. Catch the Wind

Bronze, 2019 by Hunter Abdo

Location: 17 West Claiborne Street - Stuart Richeson State Farm

Honoring: Truman Capote    

Born in New Orleans, Truman Capote lived much of his childhood with his mother’s relatives in Monroeville, Alabama, where he lived next door to and was best friends with Harper Lee.  Capote’s first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was published when the author was 24: by the time he was 30, Capote had won the O. Henry Award for best short story of the year three times and was one of the most talked about writers in American literature. His short story A Christmas Memory is one of the most frequently anthologized stories in American literature.  His most famous work, In Cold Blood (1966) announced the “nonfiction novel” and became one of the most acclaimed and influential books written by an American during the last third of the twentieth century.    

About the Artist:

Hunter Abdo is an art major from Mobile, AL, who finds inspiration in the beautiful and mysterious world that we live in along with the ability to communicate through art and music. Hunter's goal is to speak to each and every person who experiences his work on a personal level, while disregarding the hate that is associated with race, religion, and language barriers. Art is his language. 

Sponsor: Stuart and Paula Richeson

Bronze sculpture of two kites

7. In Pursuit of Truth

Bronze, 2019 by Ringo Lisko

Location: 18 East Claiborne Street - BackRoads Antiques

Honoring: Cynthia Tucker

A native of Monroeville, Cynthia Tucker is a graduate of Monroe County High School and Auburn University. She served as the Editorial Page Editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 17 years. In 1988, she was awarded a Neiman Fellowship at Harvard University. Tucker has received numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary (2007) and Journalist of the Year (2006) from the National Association of Black Journalists.  She is a visiting Professor of Journalism and Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Georgia.            

About the Artist:

Ringo Lisko is a junior at the University of Alabama, currently working toward her BFA in sculpture. Originally from Gallup, New Mexico, she moved to Tuscaloosa in 2016 to study ecological biology. However, in her first semester at the University she discovered a fascination with metal casting and decided to pursue an art degree instead, focusing on sculpture and drawing. She has since created several sculptures for Tuscaloosa’s public art scene and currently works as a part time foundry and fabrication assistant in the Department of Art & Art History metal shop. 

Sponsor: Peoples Exchange Bank

 Bronze sculpture of ink quill and paper

8. Hidden Secrets

Bronze, 2019 by Hannah Lincoln

Location: 42 East Claiborne Street – The Prop & Gavel

Honoring: Harper Lee

Born in Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee wrote the 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  Within two years of its first publication, it had been on the bestseller list for 100 weeks and sold five million copies in 13 countries.  Over five decades later, To Kill A Mockingbird remains a standard text in high schools throughout the world and is one of the best-loved novels of all time.  Her second published novel, Go Set A Watchman, was released in 2015. In 1998, The Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer was named in her honor.   Among her many honors and awards are the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2007), Alabama Writers Hall of Fame (2015), and Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame (2019). In 2018, To Kill a Mockingbird was selected as America’s favorite book through PBS’s Great American Read.    

About the Artist:

Hannah Lincoln is from Montgomery, Alabama, and is a senior at the University of Alabama pursuing a Bachelor's of Arts degree with a concentration in Sculpture. Art has been an outlet for her creativity since childhood, and has evolved into a passion. Through sculptural studio practice, her work has become a narrative for the sentiments of childhood and the story book aesthetic, as well as an expression of natural elements. 

Sponsor: The Mockingbird Company

Bronze sculpture of bird on tree limb

9. Pulitzer Prize Announcement

Bronze, 2019 by Jennifer Gault

Location:  125 East Claiborne Street – Monroeville City Hall

Honoring: Harper Lee, Cynthia Tucker, & Hank Williams

Harper Lee – 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – To Kill A Mockingbird

Cynthia Tucker – 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary - For her courageous, clear-headed columns that evince a strong sense of morality and persuasive knowledge of the community.

Hank Williams – 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Special Awards and Citations – For his craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life.

About the Artist:

Jennifer Gault is a sculpture artist currently based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Jennifer received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama in 2018. While she works full time as a fire alarm technician, Jennifer continues to create work in her spare time and is passionate about fostering creativity in others and actively participating in public art projects. 

Sponsor: Civil Southeast

 Bronze plate of telegram on brick

10. House for Hats

Bronze, 2019 by Alisa Boyd

Location: North Alabama Avenue – State of Alabama Pardons & Paroles

Honoring: Mark Childress

Born in Monroeville, Alabama and a graduate of the University of Alabama, Childress worked as a journalist for the Birmingham News, Features Editor for Southern Living magazine, and Regional Editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has also published seven novels and three children’s books.  His best-known novel, Crazy in Alabama (1993), has been published in nine different countries and was listed as one of the ten best books for 1993, as well as The Spectator’s “Book of the Year” and a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. Crazy in Alabama was made into a film in 1999. Childress received the Thomas Wolfe Award, the University of Alabama’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Alabama Library Association’s Writer of the Year, and The Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer (2014).    

About the Artist:

Alisa Boyd is a Senior Anthropology student minoring in Natural Resource Management at the University of Alabama. 

Sponsor: Alabama Writers Symposium

Bronze sculpture of a hat box

11. Cynthia Tucker Wins Pulitzer Prize

Bronze, 2019 by Amber Daum

Location: 86 North Alabama Avenue – Monroeville/Monroe County Chamber of Commerce

Honoring: Cynthia Tucker                

A native of Monroeville, Cynthia Tucker is a graduate of Monroe County High School and Auburn University. She served as the Editorial Page Editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 17 years. In 1988, she was awarded a Neiman Fellowship at Harvard University. Tucker has received numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary (2007) and Journalist of the Year (2006) from the National Association of Black Journalists.  She is a visiting Professor of Journalism and Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Georgia.

About the Artist:

Amber Daum grew up in Ozark, Alabama. The fourth year Fine Arts student at the University of Alabama has a focus in Sculpture and Anthropology. She co-created a sculpture for Monnish Park in Tuscaloosa with fellow student Ringo Lisko.

Sponsor: Monroeville/ Monroe County Chamber of Commerce

bronze sculpture of newspaper on park bench
 

12. Jon Boat

Bronze, 2019 by Pat Hoban

Location: 25 Pineville Road – Monroe County Parking Lot

Honoring: Mike Stewart    

Mike Stewart is a native of Vredenburgh, a small south Alabama sawmill town located in north Monroe County.  Stewart grew up exploring the woods, rivers, and creeks of the Deep South, which now appear in his works of fiction.  After high school, he graduated from Auburn University and later received a law degree from Cumberland School of Law.  In addition to being a successful corporate attorney for over a decade, he is also a well-respected author.  His works include the mystery novels Sins of the Brother, Dog Island, A Clean Kill, and A Perfect Life.                

About the Artist:

Patrick (Pat) Hoban is a third year MFA Ceramics Graduate student from Philadelphia. Pat's inspiration comes from time spent outside, actively enjoying nature. Whether surfing and building with sand on the beach or hiking and stacking rocks, the natural world and understanding how humans affect it has become a passion that influences his creative practice.

Sponsor: Mary Elizabeth Stallworth Trust

 Bronze sculpture of a boat

13. WSM Microphone

Bronze, 2019 by Johnathan Lanier

Location: 65 Pineville Road – Office Park

Honoring: Hank Williams    

Born in Georgiana, Alabama, Williams is universally regarded as one of the most important figures in American popular music and perhaps the single most important figure in American county and western music.  His time living with his cousins, the McNeils, in the community of Fountain on the outskirts of Monroeville, had a powerful influence in his musical development. It was during that time that he was introduced to the basics- reading, writing, music, and an appreciation for the simple pleasures of a rustic life. Williams must have learned the lessons well because the themes show up again and again in the lyrics of his songs such as “Your Cheatin' Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”  His simple yet eloquent lyrics have influenced generations of songwriters and have had an incalculable impact on modern American culture.  Williams was posthumously awarded the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement (1987) and the Pulitzer Prize for Special Awards and Citations (2010) for his pivotal role in transforming country music.    

About the Artist:

Johnathan Lanier is a senior at the University of Alabama studying sculpture and ceramics. He serves as a part time foundry assistant under the guidance of Craig Wedderspoon. Jonathan is from Montgomery, Alabama where art has always been a huge part of his life. 

Sponsor: Monroe County Education Foundation

 Bronze sculpture of classic microphone

14. Growth Mindset

Bronze, 2019 by Josh Dugat

Location: 121 Pineville Road – Monroe County Public Library

Honoring: Marva Collins

A native of Monroeville, Marva Collins developed a strong love for learning, achievement, and independence.  After graduating from Clark College and teaching in Alabama and Georgia, Collins moved to Chicago and taught for 14 years.  Dissatisfied with the poor quality of education, she opened Westside Preparatory School in her own home.  The results were phenomenal; some students progressed 5 grade levels in one year.  Two of her books – Marva Collins’ Way and Ordinary Children, Extraordinary Teachers have been ground breaking works in public education.   She received the prestigious Jefferson Award for the Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, Lincoln Award of Illinois for service to the state, and in 1981 was recognized as one of the Legendary Women of the World (along with Beverly Sills, Nancy Kissinger, and Barbara Walters).  In 1981 CBS aired The Marva Collins Story, and she was asked by President Ronald Reagan to serve as the U. S. Secretary of Education.                    

About the Artist:

Josh Dugat is a graduate student in Creative Writing and Geography at the University of Alabama. 

Sponsor: Friends of the Monroe County Library

Bronze sculpture of an apple


“We are honored here at the University of Alabama Department of Art & Art History Sculpture program to be a part of this event honoring the many acclaimed writers that have come out of Monroeville, Alabama. This opportunity for real-world application of the skills and talents we teach our students is an excellent example of the type of community involvement and creative output we instill in students throughout the programs in UA Sculpture.."

- Craig Wedderspoon, Professor of Sculpture, University of Alabama

 

- *Monroeville Main Street would like to the Alabama Writers Symposium for use of the writer biographies.
- 1, 2007 The Pulitzer Prizes — Columbia University, 709 Pulitzer Hall, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
- 2, 2010 The Pulitzer Prizes — Columbia University, 709 Pulitzer Hall, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

 

Monroeville Main Street would like to thank:

Professor Craig Wedderspoon and his students at the University of Alabama Department of Art & Art History.