0907 Jeff song-art preview

A new art piece along the riverfront will be formally dedicated to the City of Jeffersonville on Monday, Sept. 9, at 11 a.m.

JEFFERSONVILLE — The sound of Jeffersonville will fill the riverfront Monday as the new city song is revealed.

The hymn will be performed by the Jeffersonville High School band during the official ribbon cutting of a new art piece, located at 117 E. Riverside Drive, in front of Portage House, at 11 a.m.

This all started with the JHS band seeking a way to celebrate its 90th anniversary. Band director Adam Miller went to the Jeffersonville City Council to come up with a way to mark the occasion.

"We wanted to do something special for that. We came up with the idea of doing a show, celebrating our history and the town's history," Miller said.

The council sponsored the project and a composer was hired to create a three-part movement that depicted the evolution of Jeffersonville, from the industrial revolution time period all the way to the future of the town. The second part of the song collection will be dedicated as the official city song.

Miller described the song as being inspired by "On the Banks of the Wabash." He said though there are no lyrics, listeners will feel as if there could be words to sing along.

During the event, a new piece of artwork will also be dedicated to the city.

"This [art] piece and this city's first hymn, we're really making history here," said Dawn Spyker, public art administrator for the City of Jeffersonville. "This is something that has never been done before."

The piece depicting a paddlewheel has been in the making for about two years and is on display now. It was chosen out of 18 other submissions, Spyker said.

"We felt it was the best fit for the riverfront for this neighborhood," Spyker said. "We wanted a piece that looks just as stunning during the day as it does during the night and this piece does that."

The piece, designed by Quincy Owens and Luke Crawley out of Indianapolis, allows people to see through it to the river behind. Acrylic panels on it are black light reactive and glow at night, Spyker said.

"It's a beautiful compliment to all the lights that are on display on the walking bridge," she said.

The artwork serves a dual purpose by also being interpretive signage with a QR code attached that links people to video soundbites of river sounds in addition to a local historian talking about the significance of the riverfront throughout the years.

Spyker encouraged those who come to Monday's event to come early, as the festivities will start promptly at 11 a.m.

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