An Artist's Flight: Creating North America's Largest Metal Eagle





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Published on Jan 25, 2012

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.—To accompany the historic opening of Wild Eagle, the country's first steel wing coaster in March 2012, Dollywood theme park commissioned the country's largest flying eagle steel sculpture which features a horizontal wing span equivalent to a four-story building.

Created by Canadian metal sculptor Kevin Stone, the one-of-a-kind three-dimensional sculpture weighs more than two tons and is made primarily of stainless steel. It includes the individual creation and welding of thousands of intricate feathers. "When we initially conceptualized the art piece, we wanted it stand as a sentinel to beckon would-be riders to Wild Eagle but also celebrate our Smoky Mountains heritage," Dollywood's Director of Construction and Development Brian Dudash said. "The sculpture is rugged and natural and certainly compliments its environment and the surrounding architecture."

Stone worked for six months creating the sculpture in Metal Animation Studio in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Once ready for installation at Dollywood, the $250,000 sculpture will travel five days in three semi-trucks. Stone will travel to Tennessee to oversee the sculpture's installation in mid-February.

The eagle's head hovers more than two stories above the entrance to Dollywood's Wild Eagle coaster in the park's Wilderness Pass area. The eagle sculpture is symbolically posed with outstretched talons, ready to swoop down, and its keen eyes focused precisely on its prey. From tip to tip, its wingspan measures 42 feet.

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About Dollywood:
Dollywood is a place where families love every moment! Located in the foothills of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood offers families a place to stay, play and disconnect from the distractions of everyday life. Dollywood is an award-winning destination with a 150-acre theme park, a 35-acre water park, a breathtaking on-site resort and many luxurious cabins. All of which are nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

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