Just a week and a half before a more seriously game-changing event in Tuscaloosa this spring, UA Athletics unveiled the long-awaited bronze statue of Crimson Tide Football head coach Nick Saban on “A-Day,” April 16. The figure, caught in a typical “Saban-stance,” joins his four sculptured colleagues beside the Walk of Champions outside the north endzone of Bryant-Denny Stadium: UA national championship coaches Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Paul “Bear” Bryant, and Gene Stallings. The bronze statue cast by MTM Recognition was based on drawings and a maquette created by UA BFA major Jeremy K. Davis with art professors Craig Wedderspoon and Daniel Livingston.
After at least one earlier attempt by MTM Recognition (the former Midwest Trophy Company and creator of the previous coach statues), Davis was selected by Coach and Mrs. Saban when they saw drawings he had done of Coach Saban. He then prepared careful drawings for the small model or maquette used to form the over-lifesize final sculpture, and with his professors, built the mold and created the maquette. Tuscaloosa Magazine editor Janet Sudnik wrote a spring 2011 cover story about Davis and his creative process, with photos by Robert Sutton. Davis is now working on a maquette for the bronze bust of Coach Saban for the Mal Moore Athletic Facility.
For photos of Davis, Wedderspoon and Livingston working on the maquette, go here.
This article is part of a series on outside art (public sculpture) at The University of Alabama, from the summer 2011 issue of The Loupe.