Stuart statue unveiled at museum exhibit opening

Stuart statue unveiled at museum exhibit opening


JACKSON — A statue of country music hall of famer Marty Stuart was unveiled at Mississippi's Two Museums in downtown Jackson on Friday and a new executive director of the Congress of Country Music in Philadelphia was announced.

The statue is covered with history of the Philadelphia native's long career in the music industry.

The statue was done by master brown sculptor, Craig Campobella, who Stuart has known for years. Eventually, it will stand in Marty Stuart's Congress of Country Music Museum in downtown Philadelphia. But until the end of the year, it is part of "The World of Marty Stuart" exhibit at the museums.

All over Campobella's creation are symbols of Stuart's life and career. The guitar he is holding, Clarence, is one of Marty's favorites, and the strap holding it is from Travis Tritt.

On Stuart's hand is a replica of his wedding ring. There is a Grammy representing his 5 Grammys ( and counting).

A feather represents his adoption into the Lakota Indian nation. The lyrics of the iconic song "The Pilgrim" are inscribed on the statue.

Names of people and places that are dear to him are inscribed on his cape. There is a crow representing his song, "The Observation of a Crow". There are many other symbols to find and enjoy.

Stuart was on hand for a press conference to announce the exhibit's opening and the unveiling of the statue. He walked through the exhibit explaining the history of each artifact to reporters.

One display covered the night he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“The ultimate honor in Country Music is to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame,” Stuart said. “And the coolest part was that my wife, Connie, to be one to induct me. That was awesome.”

During the press conference, Stuart introduced Daniel R. Barnard as the new executive director of the Congress of Country Music in Philadelphia. 

Barnard had been the executive director of the Riley Center in Meridian since 2019. He is a nationally recognized arts presenter with a terminal degree and 18 years of industry experience.

Stuart said with Barnard on board, plans will begin to be made for the opening of the Ellis Theater when renovation work is completed in September.

“One of our first pieces of business is to start moving in that direction,” Stuart said. “It is an honor to have him. His track record down at the Riley Center is astounding. So it is great to have a partner in him and we’ll come up with some pretty glorious things with him.”

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