Newport News Public Art Foundation
Look around Newport News and what do you see? Great art — traditional art and abstract art, art that makes you smile and art that makes you wonder, art by American artists and some of the best from Europe, South America and Asia. Art is spread around our great City so we can enjoy it as we go about our daily lives. Our City’s remarkable “open-air art gallery” gives Newport News a unique identity, a source of pride, a way to stand out among all the places trying to attract the businesses and residents that make them strong. This is achieved by the EDA/IDA’s continued coordination with the Newport News Public Art Foundation’s work.
In 2015, a new piece of art joined the City’s “open-air art gallery” — Whitetail Crossing, a pair of beautiful deer sculptures at the entrance to Deer Park. These expressive sculptures, created from salvaged industrial materials, evoke elegance, agility and the sheer force of nature — remarkable qualities of deer. Abundant now, deer were severely threatened in the early 20th century. Deer Park was established as a preserve and these sculptures are a permanent reminder of the creatures that once roamed this woodland setting.
This project exemplifies the partnership approach that is unusual among public art programs, but it is a Newport News trademark. The Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism contributed and prepped the site, the Newport News Public Art Foundation commissioned and installed the art and stone retaining wall, business and foundation sponsors provided in-kind donations for portions of the installation and patron donors contributed funds.
A free educational mobile app was launched alongside this installation — and rightly so, as it will greet the 400,000+ people who visit the park each year and the students next door at Deer Park Elementary School. A personal “tour” of the works of art in the collection of the Newport News Public Art Foundation is only a download away. This was made possible in part by a grant from the Newport News Arts Commission.