The Roanoke Arts Commission is pleased to announce the opening of our next temporary sculpture exhibition — A New Life: Reimagining Roanoke.

The exhibition includes sculpture in Elmwood Park, at two locations on the Roanoke River Greenway, and on the campus of Hollins University. 

The exhibition includes work by regional artists and artists from across the country. Exhibited works come from both the City’s permanent collection and temporary pieces. A panel selected the temporary pieces from 56 submissions, and about half of the works are being created especially for this show.

We asked that artists use 50% repurposed materials, and they met the request in a variety of ways. Selected artist and their pieces:

Work “repurposed” from the permanent collection and past Art in Roanoke exhibitions.

Community Context

Established in 1884 in a valley of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, the City of Roanoke grew from the committed investment of local leaders—residents eager to create a thriving place at the crossing of two rail lines. Now, 137 years later, Roanoke continues stepping into the future with renewed commitment to its place and people. 

The “Magic City” of now just under 100,000 citizens stands at the center of a region of more than 300,000 people. The city continues to reassess, value and deploy the resources at hand. Old warehouses and garages from the 1900s now house local craft breweries and high-end lofts, offering residents and visitors easy access to outdoor recreation, a thriving arts and cultural community, and growing research opportunities along the Innovation Corridor. The community builds upon its assets, natural, built, institutional, and human.

Simultaneously, the community is embarking on a new 20-year comprehensive plan that emphasizes equity throughout every aspect of investment and service delivery. As the nation considers how it works better for ALL of its citizens, the City of Roanoke is acting locally, making strides and committed to a welcoming, diverse, and equitable future. 

Our Selection Panel

Jenine Culligan, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
Fletcher Nichols, Retired Arts Educator, Roanoke City Public Schools
William Penn, Roanoke Arts Commission
Karl Willers, Taubman Museum of Art
Lauren Woodson, City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation

Cassandra Switzer, City of Roanoke – Purchasing Advisor


Since being purchased by the city in 1910, Roanoke’s Elmwood Park has been a gathering place where residents and visitors attend events, enjoy the outdoors, and spend quiet time. Elmwood Park is located on both the Innovation Corridor and the Roanoke River Valley Greenway system. Today Elmwood is known as Roanoke’s premiere festival park with more than fifty annual events. The park is home to the Main Branch of the Roanoke City Public Library, the coordinating partner of the collaborative Star City Reads program which works through book and feeding programs to measurably increase the reading ability of the most vulnerable elementary age students. This was a key component of the City’s record making seventh All-America City award.

Other locations include:

  • Vic Thomas Park
  • Roanoke River Greenway at the Salem boundary
  • Hollins University

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