​Chernicky’s Sculpture Selected for the Old Roundhouse Park Competition

by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Jamey Chernicky has lived in the area for what seems like forever. He went to the James K. Shook School in Tracy City, and has lived on the Mountain for 50 years.
In March, the Grundy Area Arts Council (GAAC) and Mountain Goat Trail Alliance announced that Chernicky’s submission for the Old Roundhouse Park & Mountain Goat Trail Sculpture Competition had been selected for construction.
The “Forged Track Park Bench” will be fabricated from railroad track from the Tracy City park area and weathered-treated lumber. The contour of the seat and back were traced from a pre-1890 school desk onto plywood to begin the concept drawing.
Chernicky said his inspiration came from his roots—the history of his home and what he was taught by his family.
“I was taught from an early age not to waste and to repurpose materials when possible,” he said. “That, and using materials and techniques that I haven’t seen before are the main inspirations for this sculpture design.”
Chernicky began metal sculpting in 1996 and was invited to sell his creations at Cheekwood in Bloom.
Christi Teasley of the GAAC said it is important to the council for the community to be involved.
“Any time you’re working with public art, you’re going to want to have some stakeholders involved with the decision making so they have some ownership,” she said. “We’re hoping to do sculptures throughout the trail in the future.”
The unveiling of the sculpture is scheduled for June of this year, and Chernicky said he’s well on his way. He had a third of the sculpture completed before the application was even sent.
“The rail iron is split with an acetylene torch, heated red hot and pulled mechanically around the jig which was created specifically for this project. There will be 48 individual bends, all of which have to match,” he said. “A lot of thought and effort goes into everything I do, and I’m honored to have the chance to be a part of such great effort to improve our Mountain and to share our heritage.”