This Saturday at 2 p.m., McDonough residents can gather in the Square to see the unveiling of a unique piece of art dedicated to the famous Revolutionary War orator who inspired the county’s name.
Local sculptor Andy Davis will reveal a life-size bronze statue of Patrick Henry to be placed permanently in the Square, a project he described as a labor of love.“I wasn’t approached by the city to start working on this sculpture,” he said. “Like most of my work, I just started it because there are a lot of people I admire for being ordinary but doing extraordinary things with their lives.”Davis has completed sculptures of famous Georgia natives, like musician Ray Charles and author Margaret Mitchell.He said Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech was an inspiration for the design of the sculpture, which portrays the historical figure brandishing a letter opener like a dagger.Davis was successful in putting a board of directors together to raise about $89,000 for the sculpture.The McDonough City Council donated about $6,000 from its hotel and motel tax fund.Councilwoman Sandra Vincent said earlier in the year, “the hotel and motel tax money could be used because the art piece would be a draw for tourists to the city.”However, completion of the sculpture was not without obstacles.Davis said about eight months ago, his studio was broken into and the sculpture was pushed over, almost destroying it. “I didn’t want to exploit the situation, but it did get investigated,” he said. “The head came off and an arm came off part of it so my artistic assistant, Rachel Williams, and I worked many long hours reconstructing it to make him just like he had been before.”Davis said the incident inspired him to make some adjustments to the piece, too. “The pedestal of sculpture gives the illusion of the piece rising off the ground, which is a good message for those who view it,” he said. “You have to rise up from your situations, whatever it may be, and keep pursuing your passion and dreams.”The dedication ceremony will include the patriot’s fifth-great-grandson Patrick Henry Jolly delivering the 1775 speech.
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