Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation, Inc. was formed in December 2012 to raise private dollars to enhance public spaces with works of art throughout the city. The mission of the Foundation is to transform Virginia Beach with exciting and beautiful works of art in strategic public locations and to foster the creation and appreciation of art. Modeled after similar non-profit organizations in Virginia, New York and California, the Foundation’s goal is to showcase Virginia Beach as a welcoming and creative city that takes great pride in our public spaces.
The first endeavor will be the installation of Wave, a sculpture by Jeff Laramore, at the new Laskin Gateway. The 35-foot stainless steel sculpture will rest in a 35-foot wide reflecting pool inside the Laskin Road roundabout. The strategic placement of the sculpture will provide a strong sense of arrival to the Resort Area.
“We’re thrilled to have such a significant piece of work for our first installation,” said Andrew Fine, Foundation president. “Virginia Beach does not currently have a mechanism to fund public art so this private investment in the city is essential. We hope to attract a large group of supporters who share our mission and enthusiasm to bring world-class art to this world-class city.”
“We worked with experts from the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chrysler Museum of Art to identify possible artists for consideration,” said Emily Spruill Labows, director of Cultural Affairs for Virginia Beach. “Wave was selected after a national search and review process. Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation will work with the City’s Public Art Committee to make this vision a reality. This is an essential component of the Envision 2040 report for the future of Virginia Beach.”
The Foundation’s current leadership includes Fine, Labows, Bruce Thompson and Randy Sutton, Juanita Felton and Bobby Melatti. If anyone is interested in learning more about the Foundation or wishes to support it financially, they may visit www.vbpublicart.org.
Installation of the art is scheduled for this October. “I am honored that the Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation has entrusted me to create this important artistic statement for the Laskin Gateway,” said Laramore. “I am impressed with the beauty of Virginia Beach’s natural landscape and the warmth of its citizens. It is my desire to capture this sense of Virginia Beach in my piece.”
Wave has an open design that will allow high winds to pass through reducing resistance. To ensure longevity, the sculpture will be fabricated out of a combination of stainless steel plates and stainless steel cables. And, the sculpture will be enhanced with a colorful display of LED programmed lighting for visibility in the evening.
Laramore is a nationally recognized artist who has focused on creating three-dimensional, site-specific executions that strive to bring people together and capture a strong sense of place. Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, his public artworks have integrated many different materials, including water, glass, bronze, aluminum, and stainless steel. Reflecting a thorough understanding of space and environment, Laramore’s works balance abstraction with accessibility—refining simple forms with layers of meaning. To learn more, visit jefflaramore.com.
Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation will continue to identify, select and commission works of art by venerated professional artists for installation in public spaces. The organization will provide adequate resources for the activities of the organization through a commitment to fundraising, and all projects are privately funded. For more information, visit www.vbpublicart.org.