2022 Miss Fancy statue

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2022 Miss Fancy statue at Avondale Park

The 2022 Miss Fancy statue is a large-scale bronze statue of the beloved elephant Miss Fancy, created by Nelson Brice and displayed at the south entrance of Avondale Park, where she formerly reined as "Queen" of the zoo.

The campaign to commission a large-scale statue was begun by Ron Council of the Friends of Avondale Park shortly after a smaller 2012 Miss Fancy statue was damaged in an auto collision and removed from display. After Council's death, his son, Bryan took over the project, which was dedicated in Ron Council's memory.

The 10-foot long by 13-foot tall sculpture, weighing 2,800 pounds, features three children riding on the elephants back. The image was inspired by a 1934 Birmingham Post photograph, and by John Holyfield's illustrations in Irene Latham's 2019 children's book Meet Miss Fancy. Grice cast the piece at the Shelby County Arts Council with assistance from Ted Metz, Hank Simpson, Stan Copeland and Mike Kelley.

The work was installed on a sandstone-clad concrete plinth as the centerpiece of the plaza facing 41st Street South in late 2022. It was dedicated on Sunday December 11 with a trumpet ensemble providing a fanfare and a peanut vendor offering snacks.

In the meantime, the original statue was found in storage in 2021, leading to a separate fund-raising campaign to restore it for a different site on the west side of the park, closer to Avondale Elementary School.



  • Gervais, Gabby (February 1, 2022) "Location finalized for new Miss Fancy statue in Avondale Park." Bham Now
  • Gervais, Gabby (May 20, 2022) "Final bronze pour completed for new Miss Fancy statue in Avondale Park." Bham Now
  • Smith, Ruth Serven (December 11, 2022) "The best reactions to Birmingham’s new Miss Fancy elephant statue." AL.com