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City Manager's Blog

Learn about the City of Roanoke from the City Manager's point of view.

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Mar 26

An Art-Filled City

Posted on March 26, 2019 at 5:21 PM by Melinda Mayo

Last week I encountered a group of folks walking the halls of the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, admiring the artwork found throughout.  This group, which included representatives of the Arts Commission, was being led on a tour by Susan Jennings, the City’s Arts and Culture Coordinator.  As this group discussed art pieces created by the likes of Eric Fitzpatrick and David Ramey, I got to thinking about how Roanoke has and does support local arts and culture through its Public Art Program.  This week’s post will touch briefly upon this.

On the Walls Inside the Halls

If your only visit to the Municipal Building has been to pay your taxes or secure a permit, you may have missed a pretty amazing art collection.  For a number of years, Roanoke has secured art prepared by local artisans and displayed it along the hallways of the Municipal Building and, in several of the offices located within the building.  It’s a wide-ranging collection sure to intrigue, regardless of preferred style or genre.  Similar pieces may also be found at a number of the library branches, the Roanoke City Courthouse, and other public buildings.  The collection is definitely worth checking out.

Out and About

If checking out art in the outdoors is more to your liking, you are in luck there as well.  For more than 10 years, Roanoke has actively acquired and displayed public art pieces all across the City.  These pieces range from both temporary and permanent sculptures located along the Elmwood Park Art Walk in downtown to the recently installed pylon panels on the new Franklin Road Bridge.  Other pieces can be found at most of our neighborhood library branches, and in a few key areas in several neighborhoods and along our greenways.  This week we will commemorate the installation of the newest piece, “Global Harmony,” located at Entranceway Park at the corner of Williamson Road and Wells Avenue in the Historic Gainsboro Neighborhood.

So Much More

There are so many more ways the City celebrates the arts and culture in Roanoke.  From our Writer by Bus series to murals painted within a number of our village centers, and from art work on the Little Free Libraries to art on stormwater inlets, there is much to see.  There is even a way you can view much of this art without having to leave your home (though if you are able, it’s definitely worth doing so) by visiting the Arts & Culture webpage on the City’s website.  There you will find an online gallery of much of the art in the city’s collection along with maps of where you can find the pieces, and much more.  

I hope you get out and see what great art we have throughout the City.  Maybe I will see you wandering the halls of the Municipal Building as well, admiring how vibrant the art scene is here in the Star City!

-- Bob Cowell



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