Aileron - CODAworx


Submitted by Michael Dillon

Client: Metro Arts

Location: Nashville, TN, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team


Michael Dillon

Public Art Agent

Jennifer G. Cole

Metro Nashville Arts Commission

Landscape Architect

Gary L. Hawkins


Public Art Agent

David Harbsmeier



Translating the history of the park's former life as Nashville's first airfield, the sculpture represents the biplane of the early 20th century. I picture a child spreading their arms, running, imagining themselves as a plane. This 18' tall 25' wide sculpture captures upward movement in the supporting structure as well as the actual movement of the wing in a 360 degree horizontal wind activated motion. Built from bronze, the two wings reflect the traditional materials used by the Arts and Craft movement and other traditional builders that flourished in the architecture of the area.


This project reflects the unique history of the site as Nashville's first airfield. It is also adjacent to a community arts center. The goal was to connect the two, the history and the purpose. I was also very mindful of the arts and crafts architecture in the area. The materials used and process of construction ties in both the architecture and the commerce the railroad brought to the surrounding area. Another goal of the project was to involve the local school children that would be utilizing the community center. This would give them a deeper appreciation of the artwork, and a sense of ownership. We created a lesson plan for the schools, and had several classes present for the final forging and installation of Aileron.


It was a honor and joy to work with the Metro Arts team. From conception to dedication the collaboration was energetic, exciting and professional. I worked closely with Metro Arts, landscape architect Hawkins Partners, Metro 3 and the McCabe park to bring Aileron to fruition.

Additional Information

Aileron was a very profound sculpture for me to build, using techniques on a scale I had never approached before. I appreciate the level of trust and dedication I found throughout the process and would love to work with Metro Arts again. I am touched to hear how the community has embraced the sculpture and it is humbling to hear from the people it has inspired. Video link-