Local Artist Installs New Sculpture at Splinter Creek

Sonia Thompson

The quiet descent down to Partners' Pond is now punctuated by a striking work of art by Earl Dismuke.

Nestled among our rolling green hills and pine forests is Splinter Creek's newest addition -- a towering sculpture of bright yellow interconnected circles titled "Victory Dance." The work is by Mississippi artist Earl Dismuke, who recently installed the piece to sit just above Partners' Pond. "The location completes the work," Dismuke says. "Victory Dance is a celebration piece of our victories both big and small. The circles depict movement and appear to be dancing in a celebratory way."

Dismuke, a Winona, Mississippi, native who lives in Oxford with his wife and four children, is an important figure in the area. One of his main goals is to make art more accessible. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and sculpture, he co-founded the Yokna Sculpture Trail in Oxford's Pat Lamar Park in 2015. The trail features 18 large-scale sculptures that are rotated out to display other artists’ work. For Dismuke, it’s all about bringing art to everyone.

Earl Dismuke's children help him install his sculpture "Victory Dance" at Splinter Creek.

Enjoying art outside is especially thrilling at Splinter Creek, where the natural surroundings complement Dismuke's vivid creation. The bright yellow sculpture pops against the blue sky, lush grass, and fall leaves that are just beginning to turn vibrant for the fall. It's the third sculpture installation on the property, joining works by artists Ben Pierce and Woods Davy.

Having art to enhance Splinter Creek is something important to property owner Ellen Leake.

"Earl is an immensely talented sculptor," Leake says. "We struck up a friendship while working on another project, and I asked him about his work. He is so creative and has multiple works in progress, but the piece I was most drawn to was Victory Dance. During COVID there is something wonderful about a sculpture that “speaks” with optimism. The interlocking rings also symbolize multi-generational family and how we connected during the pandemic. That’s just my interpretation. When it came time to select a site at Splinter Creek, Earl made multiple trips to the property and clearly he made the right choice. The placement of the sculpture in a clearing above the Partners’ Pond is the perfect spot."

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