ROANOKE, Va. – You'll notice a new sight driving into downtown Roanoke.
The Global Harmony Sculpture is the latest addition to the Star City's public art collection. It features a bronze hand holding a silver globe with light-up features on the side.
Roanoke City held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.
The sculpture is at Entranceway Park at the corner of Williamson Road and Wells Avenue, next to the Hotel Roanoke. Mayor Sherman Lea said the artwork conveys a message about important values to the city.
“When I look at it, I think about an old song that we used to sing, saying 'He has the whole world in his hands'. And it's a beautiful sculpture. I think it's in a great location and we are very, very pleased. The Art Commission is doing a tremendous job in our city,” Lea said.
The dedication of Global Harmony ended a yearlong commemoration, Ten Years of Public Art, organized by the Roanoke Arts Commission. A selection panel of artists, Roanoke Arts Commission members, neighborhood representatives, business owners and citizens selected Stephen Fairfield to create the work from among 38 applicants.
A practicing visual artist for 40-plus years, Fairfield has specialized in public art sculpture and installations for the past 15 years. He and his wife Diane, a painter artist, live in the Dragoon Mountains in southeast Arizona. Fairfield creates new media installations, contemporary abstraction, and whimsy in static sculptures to engage passersby.
Fairfield said the sculpture symbolizes the city's desire to honor its diverse, racial, ethnic and cultural population.