UPDATE: 55 artists express interest in designing Fallen Five mem - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: 55 artists express interest in designing Fallen Five memorial

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UPDATE: Artists from across the country want the chance to design the "Fallen Five Memorial" that will honor the five servicemen killed in July of 2015.

The memorial honoring the Fallen Five will be at the Tennessee Riverpark near the Naval Operations Support Center on Amnicola Highway. The idea is that it will encourage healing and remembrance.  

"It'll be a challenge to really commemorate and honor what happened as well as the sacrifice," Katelyn Kirnie, Director of Public Art for Chattanooga, said.

55 artists are accepting that challenge. The deadline was last Friday.

Only one of them will be chosen for their vision of how to remember the five servicemen who were killed on July 16th of 2015. 

"There's only so many artists that can tackle the subject matter of a memorial and really have that expertise," Kirnie said.

The artists will have a choice of where they feel the memorial will resonate most with the community in the park.

That includes either by the river for a more powerful experience or a wooded area for a private moment. 

Committee members said they're open to ideas, but have a few of their own too.

"To make sure that it's done in a respectful way, but also that it's a place that encourages healing and remembrance of the unity that everyone came together around the families and the tragedy," Kirnie said.

In the next couple of weeks, the committee will have it narrowed down to 3 artists. Each are working with an architect.

Committee members will review their past work, specifically their experience with memorials.


Five flags face the entrance to the Naval Operations Support Center on Amnicola Highway. Each one pays tribute to one of Chattanooga’s fallen heroes.

However, the display was only meant to be temporary and now the city is in the beginning phases of designing what a more permanent memorial will look like.

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Currently, a memorial sits near the recruiting center on Lee Highway and a mural honors the fallen five on McCallie Avenue. However, there's no official memorial on Amnicola Highway.   

"We’re not just looking for artists to create a sculpture, we are really looking for this whole space to be considered,” said Katelyn Kirnie with Public Art Chattanooga.

Kirnie is heading a nationwide search for artists to design the "Fallen Five Memorial" at the Riverpark. The space is about 100 yards from where the attack happened and is broken up into two separate spaces.

"It could be one or the other, or a consideration of both complementing each other,” Kirnie said.

Chattanooga Heroes Run donated $15,000 to the project and will be spent on the design phase and given to the top three finalists.

"We’ll have three teams visiting the site, spending time in the space and community and going back and working on a proposal,” Kirnie said.

The overall project will cost about $750,000 and will be funded by grants and donations.

White and the committee hopes the space will provide a place for the community to mourn, reflect, and honor the fallen.  

"The passion that we have for this hero’s memorial is that, we remember the sacrifices those heroes made for their county and for their community and also the sacrifices the families made and continue to make without their loved ones in their lives anymore,” Lt. Cmdr. White said.

Artist and design teams are required to submit a portfolio of their work along with explaining why they are interested in this project.

The deadline for submissions is April 27th, the city hopes to have a design finalized by the end of 2017. 

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