“Rhapsody in Knowledge”-Melrose Library Plaza, Roanoke, VA

Submitted by BENNU ARTS, LLC

0

Client: BENNU ARTS, LLC and City of Roanoke Arts Commission, Roanoke, VA

Location: ROANOKE, VA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $40,000

Project Team

workshop participants

Melrose community members

BENNU ARTS, LLC

Overview

“Rhapsody in Knowledge” is an expression of community + visual music+ audacity of imagination; weaves Roanoke’s many strands of life, culture and people into an overarching tapestry of glass, metal and color; its many colors of music and people are symbolically ever-present. The timbre of visual-music, becomes a palette of intellectual colors, conjuring a vibratory composition that encourages the imagination and sharpens the visual senses; embracing the “magic” amidst word-rhythms conjoined in one’s imagination, blossom as a “Rhapsody in Knowledge”.
“The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but rather, the reality of the force the thing contains.” 1
Napoleon Jones-Henderson © 2019
1 James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name
“Rhapsody in Knowledge” is a project of the Roanoke Art Commission and Community Collaborations.

a.Dimensions, materials: “Rhapsody in Knowledge” 7′ x 5′ x 2″-Enamel on stainless steel.

Goals

My goal was to provide a visual presence on the landscape of the library campus that enlivened and stimulated activity on the exterior of the facility.
Additionally, the work “Rhapsody in Knowledge” is a visual marker/example of collaboration between the artist and community; and the use of the books in the library to excite the imagination and expose each individual to the vast possibilities a library offers to individuals in achieving their dreams and launching them into seeing the world and all its beauty through the elements of visual art, reading and respectful interaction(s) with others.
Napoleon Jones-Henderson

Process

I conducted workshops in the elementary and high schools and community center on the library campus with residents and other stakeholders. These sessions allowed everyone to contribute individual artistic expressions that I collected and intertwined as would be applicable into my overarching design/composition. (see actual sculpture)
This project engaged the community’s sense of ownership of the process, the concept, and the eventual sculpture. Not only was there a sense of heightened ownership in the community but an expression that the library was an open-air, art-landscape for the entire city of Roanoke. Envisioning the Melrose Library as a beacon visual delight, a bright light in the city for all to enjoy.
Napoleon Jones-Henderson

Additional Information

“Rhapsody in Knowledge” is an expression of community + visual music+ audacity of imagination; weaves Roanoke’s many strands of life, culture and people into an overarching tapestry of glass, metal and color; its many colors of music and people are symbolically ever-present. The timbre of visual-music, becomes a palette of intellectual colors, conjuring a vibratory composition that encourages the imagination and sharpens the visual senses; embracing the “magic” amidst word-rhythms conjoined in one’s imagination, blossom as a “Rhapsody in Knowledge”. "The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but rather, the reality of the force the thing contains. Napoleon Jones-Henderson © 2019 1 James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name “Rhapsody in Knowledge” is a project of the Roanoke Art Commission and Community Collaborations.