The Norfolk Community Association, a non-profit group dedicated to beautifying Norfolk’s common areas, will unveil its first installation for a proposed sculpture trail Saturday, September 2, at 2:00 p.m. in Robertson Plaza.
“Many of the projects we do are restorations of existing monuments,” said NCA Co-President Doreen Kelly, “but Norfolk is challenging because it is so divided by Route 44. We thought a sculpture trail could join the different parts of town.”
They approached Jon Riedeman, who specializes in wildlife sculptures, to create their first original sculpture, “Owl of Good Fortune.”
“We decided we wanted an owl,” Kelly said. “Owls are indigenous to Norfolk—this one is a great horned owl—and the sculpture will sit on the plaza with a view of City Meadow and Haystack Mountain where they live. We wanted the first sculpture to be placed where it will be very visible.”
It took more than a year to complete the sculpture, which is cast in bronze and mounted on a granite pedestal.
Kelly said the NCA hopes to install one new sculpture every year, funded through private donations and grants. “If our wish could come true, we would have many. I would say there will be at least 10 over a very long period of time. We’ve had a lot of public interest in this project. We consider this as a way to re-enforce Norfolk’s identity.”
Walter Godlewski, NCA treasurer and co-chairman of the sculpture initiative, said Norfolk has a rich artistic history and is home to several significant monuments, many of which the NCA has worked to restore in the past few years. “While we will continue our preservation and beautification efforts, our latest project provides an exciting additional focus for the organization,” he said.