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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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Aug 16

Welcoming Art

Posted on August 16, 2021 at 11:27 AM by Melinda Mayo

In celebration of Roanoke being a welcoming and diverse community, we are reworking the hall in the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building leading to the Council Chamber.  We felt the entryway to the seat of our local government should better celebrate the diversity present in our community and highlight the contributions made by a wider representation of residents.  

Hall of Mayors

Gone will be the dozens of portraits of former Mayors—don’t worry, the portraits of the first Mayor of the Town of Big Lick and the first Mayor of the City of Roanoke will be moved into the Council Chamber joining the portrait of the current Mayor and the portrait of the Municipal Building’s namesake, Noel C. Taylor.  The others will safely reside in the City Archives at the Main Library downtown.  

Wall of Art

In place of the portraits of the Mayors will hang art created by local artists—some from the City’s permanent collection, and others chosen from a special call.  This rotating exhibit entitled “Welcome to Roanoke: Images of a Compassionate, Diverse, and Welcoming Community,” will be placed Sept. 9, just in time for Welcoming Week, which begins Sept. 10.  The art hanging on the wall will be joined by digital art displayed on a monitor near the elevators at the end of the hall.  This content will include the We Are Art rap cypher released earlier this year, the Work of Art Celebration of Roanoke Arts & Culture, and videos from the Local Colors celebrations among others.

Join In

Artists have the opportunity to have their art considered for inclusion in the exhibit.  The Roanoke Arts Commission has issued a call for submissions that may be accessed at this link. The rules for submission are noted at the link and submissions must be received no later than Aug. 31. Works will be juried by a panel of citizen-artists, community leaders, and Arts Commission representatives. The exhibition will run from Sept. 9 through June of next year.

If you are an artist, consider taking this opportunity to share your concept of what it means to be a compassionate, diverse, welcoming community.  If you don’t have an artist’s touch, then stop by the Municipal Building sometime between September and next June and check out the new hall!

 — Bob Cowell

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