APSU professors’ documentary Tennessee Triumph to debut at June art walk

CLARKSVILLE, TN – Two professors from Austin Peay State University will soon present their documentary on the creation of Tennessee Triumph – a Clarksville monument that celebrates the passing of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees women’s suffrage.

APSU professors and filmmakers Karen Bullis and Kathy Lee Heuston will attend the “Tennessee Triumph: Making a Monument” debut at 6 pm on June 3 at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center. The film’s premiere will be part of the first Thursday Art Walk in downtown Clarksville.

The Tennessee Triumph Monument was unveiled during the suffrage parade last August. (Lee Erwin)

Their documentary covers two years of planning, creating and installing the monument and features interviews with the women of Clarksville who worked on the sculpture. Interviews include Ellen Kanervo, Rosalind Kurita, Khandra Smalley, Brenda Harper, Melissa Miller, Martha Pile and Margaux Silvey, 9, who raised $ 1,000 to help fund the monument.

The film also includes scenes by sculptor Roy W. Butler in Alpine, Utah, shaping clay, Gary Streadbeck explaining how a bronze statue is made, and local architect Pam Powell discussing the design and construction. from the base of the monument.

The monument is a 1.25 times life-size statue of a voting woman representing all of the women in Clarksville who worked for the suffrage. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, which became part of the US Constitution on August 26, 1920. The Tennessee Triumph was dedicated on August 18, 2020 in the Clarksville Public Square.

Bullis and Heuston are professors in the communications department at APSU.


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