Statue of Stuart unveiled at opening of museum exhibition



JACKSON — A statue of famed country musician Marty Stuart was unveiled Friday at the two Mississippi museums in downtown Jackson and a new executive director of the Country Music Congress in Philadelphia was announced.

The statue is covered in the story of the Philadelphia native’s long career in the music industry.

The statue was made by brown master sculptor, Craig Campobella, whom Stuart has known for years. Eventually, it will be held at Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music Museum in downtown Philadelphia. But until the end of the year it is part of the exhibition “The World of Marty Stuart” in museums.

Throughout Campobella’s creation are symbols of Stuart’s life and career. The guitar he’s holding, Clarence, is one of Marty’s favorites, and the strap that holds it is by 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 its adoption into the Lakota Indian Nation. The lyrics to the iconic song “The Pilgrim” are inscribed on the statue.

Names of people and places dear to him are inscribed on his cape. There is a crow representing his song, “Watching a Crow”. There are many other symbols to find and enjoy.

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

An exhibit covered the night he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Country music’s ultimate honor is to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame,” Stuart said. “And the coolest thing is that my wife, Connie, was the one inducting me. It was awesome.”

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

Barnard had been the executive director of the Riley Center at 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 Ellis Theater to open when the renovations are complete in September.

“One of our first activities is to start moving in that direction,” Stuart said. “It’s an honor to have him. His track record at the Riley Center is staggering. So it’s great to have a partner in him and we’re going to create some pretty glorious things with him.


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