S_V_H Walking in Memphis image 1

Walking in Memphis first image shows the prep so far for this sculpture.  My work sheet has a start date of July 16th.   Since then I have spent much of my mornings, afternoons, and evenings cutting, sanding, and painting pieces of wood.  Now the fun part, putting the artwork together.

I have always liked this song.  One connection to this music is that I visited Memphis around the early nineties and toured Elvis’s home and the grounds.  My remembrances are that the house was not ‘big’ for a mansion, and I could not go up the long stairs to the bathroom where he died.  It shocked me to look at the Google Street view of Graceland today.  It now looks like a theme park.  During my visit I don’t recall many other visitors being there.  I remember walking through the gates and into the house, no guide, and then wandered the other buildings and his grave.  The house with its unique theme rooms are still the coolest part.

After choosing this song I spent days doing research.  I read up on Beale Street and searched for images both new and old.  The past pictures I found several copyright free images.  As for current images, because of the neon everywhere, finding night pictures was difficult.  Most of the Beale Street images I found had copyright requirements for their use.   After more exhausting search, I found three free use images by Heidi Kaden only asking, if you wish, this photography credit:  Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash.   I looked at Beale Street using Google Street view.  It is almost being there without worry about parking.  Beale Street was where the Memphis Blues style developed with the help of great musicians like Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Albert King, B. B. King and other blues and jazz legends (Wikipedia).   To my surprise, they performed on a short two block stretch of blues clubs from 4th to 2nd street.

Here is the music of Marc Cohen who sings and wrote the 1991 song Walking in Memphis:


Coming up more ideas on the many ways I will connect this artwork with the music, and the street.

Scott Von Holzen