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Roanoke Arts and Culture News

Posted on: June 28, 2018

‘Tenth Year of Public Art’ Celebration to Conclude with Newly Commissioned Art

The City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Arts Commission announce the selection of Stephen Fairfield of St. David, Ariz., to create a special work of art celebrating 10 years of public art in Roanoke. The piece, titled Global Harmony, will be placed in Entranceway Park at 114 Wells Ave. NW.  The city issued a Request for Qualifications seeking an artist or artist team to design artwork that would reflect the inclusivity and diversity of the population of the City of Roanoke. Fairfield was selected out of four finalists who presented proposals.

The selection panel was made up of Roanoke Arts Commission members, arts professionals, city staff, community members, and a representative of the Gainsboro neighborhood. Fairfield’s work was selected because it best fit the specifications established for the art. He explained his artwork as follows: “Global Harmony will symbolize the role that human diversity plays in lifting up and supporting the world in which we live. Visually it is intended to be a placemaking iconic gateway to downtown Roanoke.”

 Global Harmony consists of a 17-foot-high forearm and hand projecting from the earth. The fingers of the hand point upward and hold a mirror finish stainless steel globe with the earth’s continents etched into it. The arm will be encircled with a ribbon of colorful hands and the globe will reflect the surroundings on its surface. Lighting installed below the hand and projecting onto the entire sculpture will make it a welcoming beacon at night.

Greg Webster, Selection Panel Member and the current RAC Chair, said “We are excited to conclude a year-long celebration of our 10th year of public art by installing this noteworthy piece near a major entryway into downtown. We want to thank City Council and the citizens of the City of Roanoke for their 10 years of support. Public art enhances the identity and character of the city, and directly supports cultural tourism and economic development.”

The project is funded through a one-time allocation that recognizes the 10th year of the City of Roanoke’s formal Public Art Program. Fairfield will be paid $42,000 for his work, and the infrastructure work to prepare the site will be performed by city staff. Installation will be completed in October 2018, marking 10 years from the installation of In My Hands at the Berglund Center, the city’s first commissioned piece under its Percent for Art Program.

For further information, contact Susan Jennings, Arts and Culture Coordinator, at susan.jennings@roanokeva.gov or call 540-853-5652.

A color rendering of Global Harmony
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