AIR People's Choice Award

The City of Roanoke and Roanoke Arts Commission Announce the Winner of the People’s Choice Award in the temporary exhibition AIR (Art in Roanoke) at Elmwood Park.

During the weekend of Festival in the Park May 22 to 25 almost 800 votes were cast to determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award and recipient of a $1,000 honorarium. Voters chose “Ask the Fish 2.0” by Stephen Fairfield as their favorite sculpture in the exhibit with the theme The Natural City.

“Ask the Fish 2.0” depicts a monumental human hand grasping a large, shimmering fish, and according to the artist “symbolizes the beauty and wonder of creation.” Standing at 13 feet high a weighing in at one ton the art work is constructed of steel, fiberglass and holographic film which makes the fish shimmer as the light hits its scales.

A visual artist for almost 40 years, Stephen Fairfield of St. David Arizona has specialized in public art for the past 12 years. Whether with new media interactive creations or static sculptures, his passion is to create dynamic tension and motion, transforming passive observers into active participants who become engaged in the actual creation or completion of the artistic expression.

Ask the Fish 2.0

He is the lead artist and founder of The New Media Public Art Collective, a collaboration that includes an artist electrical engineer, two architects, a media/3D and special effects artist, and an artist who specializes in concrete sculptures. Since 2004 they have completed 19 site specific installations. For more information on the artist go to

According to Susan Jennings, Arts and culture Coordinator for the City, “We are thrilled that close to 800 citizens voted for their favorite work of art. Our goal was not only to select the People’s Choice Winner but to get an idea of which pieces the public might like to become a part of the City’s permanent collection. There were several works close behind ‘Ask the Fish’ in the vote tally. We hope to find underwriters to help us keep some of the art in Roanoke”

This is the third AIR (Art in Roanoke) temporary exhibit but the first one where all the work is concentrated in one area. Three sculptures were purchased from the previous two exhibitions including “Trojan Dog” by Ann Glover which sits in front of the fire station on Memorial Ave., “Recoil” by Mark Yale Harris on Wells Avenue and “In Flux” by Bland Hoke and Matt Rink in Vic Thomas Park.

All the sculptures plus videos of the artists discussing their work can be viewed at www.

For more information and a photo of the winning sculpture contact Susan Jennings, Arts and Culture Coordinator at or 540-853-5652