“Memphis” Stands Out on Mud Island

Artist Tylur French

This past May, the final layers of brightly hued paint were being applied to 10-foot steel letters firmly affixed to the ground in the Mud Island River Park.

The installation is 50 feet long, and the foundation supporting all 20,000 pounds of lettering is made of more than 147,000 pounds of concrete.

A quick browse through hashtags such as #memphissign or #mudisland will yield several, if not dozens, of examples of people eager to display their Memphis pride on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Youngblood Studio was chosen for the design by Memphis River Parks Partnership, the same studio responsible for other large-scale projects such as the Broad Avenue water tower and the colorful Bike Gate sculpture that adorns the eastern entrance to Overton Park at Sam Cooper and East Parkway.

“In terms of finish and scale, we knew their work was really going to ‘pop’ on the riverfront,” said Ruby Zielinski, a design strategist with Memphis River Parks Partnership.

Youngblood Studio, Zielinski adds, is “hyperlocal,” employing mostly Memphis-based artists.

The sign has been tested for all weather conditions and seismic durability by A2H planning and design firm.

The designer, Tylur French, said, “This sign isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time.”

The Broad Avenue Water Tower

The Broad Avenue Water Tower

The Overton Park Bike Gate

The Overton Park Bike Gate