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Frank Fleming, the creator of the Storyteller Fountain at Birmingham’s Five Points and notable public sculptures throughout the Magic City has passed away at age 77.
Especially unique to Birmingham, Fleming’s realistic depictions of animals and mythological creatures in fantastical settings dot many of the public spaces throughout the city.
Fleming’s work can be found most notably in the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Alys Stephens Center, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Aldridge Gardens.
In 2014, Fleming was featured in Garden and Gun Magazine in a delightful story about his life and works titled The Fantastical World of Frank Fleming.
Here is an excerpt from the Garden and Gun article about Fleming’s most famous piece in Birmingham, the Five Points Storyteller Fountain.
In Birmingham, Fleming is best known for the Storyteller, a public fountain in the Five Points South neighborhood that depicts a ram-man reading a book to a circle of woodland creatures. Most people see a charming storybook scene, but when it was installed in 1992, a few conspiracy theorists insisted that the ram-man, which sits with his back to a local church, symbolized Satan. “Everybody who knows Frank just laughed out loud,” says his friend Richard Dowd, who works at Littlehouse Galleries in Homewood. “He’s just such a nice guy.”
To read more about Fleming’s life, check out the entry about him in the Encyclopedia Alabama.
In honor of a special artist, who enriched all our lives in Birmingham with his magical sculptures, below is a photo gallery celebrating the life of Frank Fleming.