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Metro Newsroom

Flock of Finns Flies Back to Waterfront Park

Wednesday February 4, 2009

A beloved public art display by celebrated folk artist Marvin Finn has been repaired and restored — and on Thursday, Feb. 12, it will be reinstalled at Waterfront Park.

The Flock of Finns — a collection of colorful birds, ducks and roosters — will fly back into the park, starting at noon. It will take several hours to reinstall the steel creatures at the corner of Witherspoon and Preston streets.

Mayor Jerry Abramson said the restoration will “preserve the flock for many generations to come.”

The art display was unveiled in 2001 and the flock flew to several locations around the city before being permanently installed at the Waterfront.

Time, weather and natural wear-and-tear promoted the need for various repairs, including touch-up painting, said Kathy Scherer, who helped launch the Flock of Finns and raised money to endow it.

The restoration of the 29 birds cost $5,000 and was paid by a fund established for the long-term care of the artwork. Paul Addington of St. Matthews Auto Import coordinated the work and artist Dianne Wisdom did the restoration work. Others involved include Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, A&A Towing and United Rental.

“The Waterfront Park streetscape has been lonely without the flock,” Scherer said, who lives atop Preston Pointe. “My bird’s-eye view provides daily entertainment as I watch people interact with Marvin’s fantasy fowls.”

Finn was born in 1913, the son of an Alabama sharecropper. Finn’s father enjoyed whittling on wood and Finn would stand by him, learning carving and artistic skills.

Finn died in 2007.