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Decatur commissions public sculpture honoring Peggy Merriss


Decatur commissions public sculpture honoring Peggy Merriss

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Peggy Merriss


Following Peggy Merriss’ retirement as Decatur City Manager last month, the Decatur Arts Alliance, along with the City Commission, has begun a fundraiser to purchase a piece of public art honoring the former city manager.

According to a city newsletter, the Arts Alliance has commissioned Corrina Sephora to create the sculpture in Merriss’ honor. When finished, it will be placed at Decatur Legacy Park — the former United Methodist Children’s Home property — making it the first piece of what is anticipated to become Decatur’s sculpture garden there.

The piece’s title, “Start Where You Are,” references advice that Merriss often gave to other cities interested in starting public art programs similar to Decatur’s.

“This simple message encouraged communities to start small, and to not be deterred by a lack of funding,” the city newsletter said.

Merriss served as Decatur’s city manager for 25 years and worked for the city for 35 years. Her ongoing commitment to public art served as a hallmark of her career. She ended her career with the commission on Dec. 31, and Andrea Arnold, the former assistant city manager, is succeeding her.

Those interested in contributing to the “Peggy Public Art Fund,” which the city is sponsoring to raise money for the sculpture, can go here to donate. Donors should include “Peggy Public Art Fund” in the note section of the online form.

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