Washington University Masters of Fine Arts student, Andrew Woodard specializes in large sculpture projects. Last summer he installed this sculpture in the new Forest Park Southeast community garden. Woodward’s latest sculpture project will soon call the Grove home and will be an ode to Manchester Avenue’s past.
Historically, one of the neighborhood’s most prominent buildings and businesses was the Manchester Theater. The theater along with its marquee sign were torn down in the mid 1970’s. Woodward’s sculpture is a replica of the Manchester Theater’s steel sign. It will stand 11 feet tall and will be installed on the art pedestal at Arco and Manchester.
The project will be a center piece of Woodward’s MFA thesis. The sculpture will integrate solar energy to light up the red “Manchester” lettering that runs down the sign’s side. The supplies for the project are funded by the Grove Community Improvment District. The sculpture will be installed this March in conjunction with SOHO’s grand opening.
When asked about the project Woodward had this to say, “I live in the Grove and I feel the aesthetics of the neighborhood suits the type of work I do. There is a lot of unique and interesting energy in the Grove. It’s nice to see people wanting to make a change and I want to play a small part in that. Talking to Brooks Goedeker [WUMCRC Community Development Manager] he invited me to look at what was currently going on in the Grove and to see how one of my pieces may contribute to the street’s fabric. Taking that and looking at the area historically, it became apparent that the Grove is interesting because it didn’t have Route 66’s glitzy past. Doing some research, I found out that what put the area on the map was its industrial heritage and rust-heavy industry. This piece grew from a building that is no longer in the Grove, but at one time was a center piece and helped mark the area. I felt an interest in reinstituting this kind of archive in a unique way that blends industry, a glitzy Hollywood movie marquee, and the future of solar power”.