This ballet is a haunting vision of red; its glaring vermillion limbs curved upward around each other, unmoving. The Ghost Ballet dances in the Nashville skyline, its audience the visitors who are curious enough to take a step closer. A first glance, the sculpture is just that: a still, cold, unmoving structure, gracefully perched atop a gantry crane on the east bank of the Cumberland River. However, a closer peek would reveal that the artwork is actually a dance. The movements of the sculpture consistently change depending on a spectator’s position, similar to that of a real ballet. The deep red spirals locked in a never-ending performance have become a recognizable figure in Nashville.
Completed in 2007, Ghost Ballet was the first project that was funded by the City of Nashville’s public art ordinance, which is administered by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (MNAC.) The sculpture is the work of artist Alice Aycock, who had characterized Ghost Ballet as a work of static animation. “It changes as you move around it,” Aycock comments, “It suggests a certain kind of movement, dance movements, which is why I refer to it as a Ghost Ballet.”
In 2014, Ghost Ballet was due for a recoating, as the artwork’s characteristic fire engine red coating was beginning to fade. Tnemec representative with NexGen Coating Resources, Inc. Tiffany Goulet states, “Red is a popular color used for bridges in downtown Nashville and the NFL’s Titan Stadium. City officials have seen what happens when red fades over time, so they wanted a coating system with long-term color and gloss retention.” Arrangements for the task included the rusted surfaces of the sculpture prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP11 PowerTool Cleaning to Bare Metal in addition to the remains of the original red urethane finish coat being scraped off.
To ensure that the new coatings stay intact, the red, maroon, and gray parts of the sculpture were given a topcoat of Tnemec’s Series 1070 Fluoronar. The high-performance fluoropolymer contains LUMIFLON FEVE resin technology that offers the long-term color and gloss retention necessary for a high-profile project like Ghost Ballet.
Information courtesy of Tnemec.