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December 10, 2023

New Statue in Rosedale

Placed in front of the Blue Levee restaurant

Sean Johnson, Director of Tourism for Cleveland, appreciates the many allures of the Mississippi Delta area. Johnson recently had an interesting sculpture placed in front of the Blue Levee restaurant in Rosedale. The sculpture was created by John Davis five or six years ago, an artist who lives in Water Valley. 

“The statue used to be in Water Valley,” said Johnson. “Apparently there were some people who didn’t really think it fit in their town. So, John moved it to Oxford, to a place called Local Color, which was an eclectic smoke and gift shop. When the owner passed away, the establishment was demolished in 2021 and the Centaur had to be moved again so Davis moved it to his own backyard.” 

Johnson first saw the statue while he was driving through Water Valley.

“It was such a random thing that I had to stop and take a picture of it,” he said. “And then I met John and I told him how great I thought the statue was.”

Johnson had recently purchased the Blue Levee, which will be opening soon, and he wanted to move the Centaur there.

“I had just bought the Blue Levee in Rosedale, which is at the intersection of Hwy. 1 and 8, and I knew it would be amazing there and people could enjoy it,” he said. ‘”The restaurant should be in full swing very soon, so hopefully even more people will get to see it. I just think having this random piece of artwork there will turn out to be a great conversation piece.”

Johnson said the Centaur was made out of concrete and was Davis’s first sculpture. “John is a great artist,” he added. “He built his house out of hay bales and concrete. And what I love about the Centaur is it’s his first work and he’s an amazing talent. I’m very happy about having it at the Blue Levee.”

Johnson calls this amazing, yet curious, piece of art “The Centaur of the Universe.” 

“This art is really random,” he said. “In 30 minutes after we put the statue up, we saw a half dozen people stop to take pictures of it. People are curious about what the statue means. In my view, art doesn’t have to mean anything. It’s often something random that brings people together, especially these days when we’re so preoccupied with other things. Who knows, maybe some legend will spring up about it soon.”

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