NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - To go with a recently renovated Memorial Highway entrance, the New Rochelle Public Library has been given an art installation that has made the rounds throughout the country before settling into its new home downtown.
Last week, a sculpture of hammered aluminum, titled “X-Ray” by nationally renowned artist Robert Lobe was installed at the library as the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) kicked off a new public art initiative that will “expand on the city’s long history in the arts.”
Before landing in New Rochelle, the sculpture was featured at Pratt Institute, the Montclair Art Museum and the Greater Reston Arts Center in Virginia. According to the artist, the abstract sculpture represents the unknown.
“It’s named ‘X-Ray’ because it’s like focusing on what cannot be seen - a moment in time - like a ballerina poised for what comes next,” Lobe said. “I thought this was the perfect sculpture for the New Rochelle Public Library because books are lives to be lived, secrets to be unlocked, the invisible made visible.”
New Rochelle Public Library Director Tom Geoffino noted that the recently upgraded Memorial Highway entrance - complete with a new modern, all-glass look - is a perfect spot for Lobe’s latest piece.
“New Rochelle Public Library is thrilled to be able to host this important sculpture in the courtyard of our newly renovated entrance,” he said in a statement. “(Lobe) is an artist of national note and his work ‘X-Ray’ speaks to our ongoing efforts to bring thoughtful public art to the attention of our residents. We’re certain this initiative will also create another reason to visit our busy public library.”
According to city officials, this latest program joins other initiatives that are expanding on “the city’s long history in the arts, nurturing a growing scene in the commercial core that is seeing a historic redevelopment.”
Arts consultant Joyce Pomeroy Schwartz, who is teaming with the BID for the initiative, said that integrating public art as part of the city’s “historic redevelopment” through RDRXR, will be crucial to the future of New Rochelle.
“New Rochelle, a small, urbanized city, is a unique place for public art supported by the modern patronage of government agencies, developers and local businesses,” she said. “It will flourish through active community participation, civic revitalization and awareness of the post-modernist revival of architectural ornament.
“Public art that at first seems different, and even provocative in the civic space, will in time become familiar, understandable and even beloved.”