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Earl Scruggs Center adds major work to its collection
Bernie Taupin poses by his exhibit "He Will Set Your Fields on Fire" at the Earl Scruggs Center.

The Earl Scruggs Center is proud to announce a new acquisition to add to its already impressive permanent collection. An exhibit featuring the assemblage He Will Set Your Fields on Fire, created by internationally acclaimed artist Bernie Taupin, opened to the public on Wednesday, November 6. A generous gift from private donors to the Earl Scruggs Center made this acquisition and new exhibit possible.

Taupin, internationally known for his fifty-year collaboration with music legend Elton John, also has an extensive career in the visual arts world. He describes his creative work as "artistic archeology" inspired by his love of all genres of music, especially American roots music. Taupin's admiration of iconic artists such as Earl Scruggs is reflected in the individual components of the piece on display at the Earl Scruggs Center.

In a film accompanying the artwork installation, Taupin notes that "bluegrass has always been a part of my life," and "Earl's spirit helped me create this piece." The title He Will Set Your Fields on Fire is taken from the title of a fiery gospel tune, recorded by many bluegrass artists, including Flatt and Scruggs in 1962 for their album At Carnegie Hall (The Complete Concert).

Mary Beth Martin, executive director of the Earl Scruggs Center, received an invitation for a one-on-one interview at Taupin's studio in Solvang, California, in July. Portions of this interview are included in the film accompanying the exhibit at the Center. Upon viewing the film, visitors to the Center will immediately see why this piece of artwork is at home in the Earl Scruggs Center.

"Earl's influence has truly been international and to think a renowned British-born artist has chosen to honor him in this way is overwhelming," stated JT Scruggs, chairperson of the Earl Scruggs Center's Board of Directors. "We are truly indebted to our donors for this significant addition."

On Tuesday, Taupin and his manager, Dana Yarger, visited the Earl Scruggs Center to view the work and explore its permanent home. When asked about how he felt that the permanent location for his artwork was to be in a place that honors the legacy of Earl Scruggs, he warmly expressed that were "no words" to describe his emotions.

The Earl Scruggs Center, opened in January 2014, has seen visitors from all 50 states and 20 foreign countries. It is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am-4pm and on Wednesdays, 10am-6pm.

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