Local News

Raleigh's City Plaza gets art

Posted October 12, 2009

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Raleigh's "public living room" will get a little interior decoration.

Sculptures by three North Carolina artists were installed Monday at Raleigh's City Plaza, which will open after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 24.

Raleigh City Plaza Art_Opposing Forces Sculptures win spot in Raleigh's City Plaza

It took most of the afternoon to install the three sculptures, which weigh a combined 4,000 pounds of steel, tires and reinforced concrete.

The sculptures will be the artistic centerpiece to the $15 million plaza of the 500 block of Fayetteville Street. With glass retail pavilions, light towers and water fountains, the plaza is intended to be a gathering place that also hosts public events like concerts. One business, Krispy Kreme, will be ready in time for the opening.

"It's going to be a great additional to downtown Raleigh," said Sam Yehia, a local business owner.

The three sculptures were selected from among more than a dozen entries in a contest organized by the Raleigh Arts Commission, ArtSpace and Visual Art Exchange.

The artists each received a $2,000 honorarium for the already completed works. The sculptures will be displayed through October 2010.

The jury selected "Bow," a 2004 work by William Donnan, of Franklinville; "Opposing Forces," by Hanna Jubran, of Grimesland; and "Toy Defense," a 2004 work by Adam Walls, of Red Springs.

"Bow" is an abstract representation of a person bowing. A massive rock form is held up by a delicate bone.

"I was trying to take a simple human gesture and interpret it as a study in balance and grace," Donnan said. "I am tapping into the intuitive knowledge that everyone has about gravity to give the viewer the feeling that the sculpture is only temporarily at rest and will soon move again."

"Opposing Forces" uses steel painted red, yellow and blue to represent the four elements in which ancient Greeks believed: earth, water, fire and wind.

"It expresses the cycle of life, growth and continuum through the interplay of shape, form, space and colors," Jubran said. "These four elements are seen in a variety of forms, shapes and colors as they occur in nature. They are ever changing."

"Toy Defense" shows a science fiction-esque yellow and red toy vehicle. A human shape is incorporated into the toy, which suggestively holds up its hands and has eyes.

It invites the viewer to "become part of the piece in much the same way that I wanted to play with my action figures as a child," Walls said. "Through toy play, I imagined my toys taking on my emotions, and I imagined my physical self being inside these same toys."

70 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Adelinthe Oct 12, 2009

    Who's paying for this mess???

    The 2-year olds in my daycare did better than some of 'em.

    God bless.

    RB

  • methinkthis Oct 12, 2009

    I am still looking for the art. I will allow that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but I bet a survey would show that there are very few that would declare these to be art. "A fool and his money are soon parted."

  • bubbba Oct 12, 2009

    Now I get it...I should have read the whole thingie.
    It really is art to people who talk like this.

    "It expresses the cycle of life, growth and continuum through the interplay of shape, form, space and colors," Jubran said. "These four elements are seen in a variety of forms, shapes and colors as they occur in nature. They are ever changing."

  • bubbba Oct 12, 2009

    "I am tapping into the intuitive knowledge that everyone has about gravity to give the viewer the feeling that the sculpture is only temporarily at rest and WILL SOON MOVE AGAIN."

    dang right it will move.....to the landfill.

  • bubbba Oct 12, 2009

    Dang it...Looks like them Yanks pulled another fast one on us.
    Sold us some garbage and said it was art...

  • ugottabkiddinme Oct 12, 2009

    This is just another example of our "fine" leaders. in a time when they should be finding ways to save money and find the monies to support programs that matter they do this!!the self proclaimed "artist" is probably a friend,"special"friend,or relative ofone of our honest politicians...lord knows NC is full of them!!

  • Pineview Style Oct 12, 2009

    Is it a coincidence that this was anounced AFTER the Meeker Mayor was re-elected?

  • mentalgoose Oct 12, 2009

    Dear provincial rubes: Not liking a piece of art doesn't mean it isn't art. And as for the complaints regarding the expenditure, you are probably right. Raleigh probably shouldn't have spent the money on a community whose primary concept of culture is a day of shopping at WalMart followed by dinner at Chili's. Or, to put it in terms you are much more likely to understand - Do not throw pearls before swine.

  • Jeremiah Oct 12, 2009

    "Drugs and art don't mix."

    i think you'd probably be surprised.

  • cbarnett Oct 12, 2009

    You call that art? What do you call a Picasso?

More...