Artist-Initiated Public Art Reflects Huntsville’s Unique Spirit
Five new public art installations have been added to Huntsville’s cityscape thanks to selected local artists and the 2022 Artist-Initiated Program. Arts Huntsville set out to empower artists through funds from the National Endowment for the Arts‘ American Rescue Plan Grant and the City of Huntsville. In 2022, Arts Huntsville invited local artists and site partners to breathe life into the city’s public spaces through public art proposals. Five proposals were approved by the Public Art Committee, resulting five inspiring installations that now grace Huntsville’s landscape.
Tranquility by Raven Armstead
Tranquility by Raven Armstead stands as a sentinel of serenity along the Governor’s Drive corridor, on the frontage of Handcrafted Huntsville, a community makerspace. With its lavender-hued female form set against a temple-like backdrop, the artwork invites passersby to pause, contemplate, and appreciate the profound beauty of stillness. Armstead, propelled by the Artist Initiated-Program, expressed gratitude, saying, “I’m getting better and learning more with each job… [I’m] so happy to be involved with an art community that supports our creativity/careers in this way.”
Closer Than We Think by Float
At 3310 Governors Dr., Closer Than We Think by Pete “Float” Lucker captures the boundless imagination of children. The silhouette of a child launching a toy rocket towards Mars is a poignant reminder that dreams, no matter how lofty, are within reach. Lucker beautifully encapsulates this sentiment, stating, “I was thinking about how dreams from childhood can become lifelong pursuits.”
US by Jahni Moore
In front of the Stovehouse property, Jahni Moore’s US pays homage to Huntsville’s hardworking roots and innovative spirit. Crafted with acrylic and infused with the region’s local red clay, Moore’s creation embodies the very essence of the city. “US also stands for Undisputedly Southern. We have a flavor all our own and I intend to share it at home and with the world, unapologetically,” Moore affirmed. His use of local clay, rich with history, adds a profound layer of significance to this masterpiece.
Mile by Gwyer Sinclair
John Hunt Park now boasts Mile, a bold aluminum prism by artist and NASA engineer Gwyer Sinclair. This enigmatic structure challenges conventional notions of length and space with its engraved labyrinth, over a mile long. Positioned next to the park’s cross-country track, Mile engages viewers in a thoughtful exploration of dimensions, both physical and metaphysical. Around its pedestal, an inscribed verse in multiple languages enhances the universal appeal of this intriguing installation.
Robyn Hood by Andrew Luy
Finally, at Sherwood Park, Andrew Luy’s Robyn Hood stands proudly, embodying the spirit of this quaint neighborhood community. The Sherwood Park Civic Association worked closely with the artist to plan the piece. Perched atop a rocky outcropping with her bow drawn, the sculpture brings childhood joy and Robin Hood story references to mind. Luy’s creation resonates with the essence of Sherwood Forest, immortalizing the neighborhood’s identity in a visually charming form. A community celebration of the piece will be hosted by the Sherwood Park Civic Association on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 11:00am at the pavilion in Sherwood Park, located at 325 Town and Country Drive NW.
As Huntsville continues to evolve, so too will its public art program. The 2022 program served as Arts Huntsville’s first attempt at implementing community-initiated projects into its program, as recommended by the Public Art Master Plan. This effort will serve to inform future community-initiated projects. With these creations, Huntsville emerges not just as a city, but as a canvas that celebrates the ingenuity and creativity of its people.