Completion: 2011, Finalist

Location: Waterside Drive Gateway Sculpture, Norfolk, VA

Description: For the Waterside Drive Public Art Project, we are interested in creating a work of civic art that not only commemorates Norfolk's 300 years of maritime and naval heritage, but also simultaneously resonates with the city's modern reputation as a city on the move. A preliminary concept for the Waterside Drive site envisions the oar as an evocative, multilayered metaphor for the city. In addition to its connection with the water, the oar is an ancient symbol of creative thought, forward movement, and action.

Entitled Oarburst, the design features numerous oars arranged in a dynamic starburst configuration around a central core that is dramatically elevated from the ground. Seen at a distance from a car or on foot, the sculpture is a striking abstract form, but when approached, visitors are delighted to discover that it is composed of individual oars. Structurally reinforced with steel rods down each shaft, the oars will be of various sizes, styles, and varieties from different periods in time. This becomes a powerful, poetic gesture that celebrates the collective efforts of Norfolk's citizens throughout history to establish the thriving port city as one of America's great communities and destinations.

Architect: METALAB