Public Art chosen for Wards Corner

November 7, 2014

The Arts Commission on Thursday, November 7, 2014, voted to recommend to the City that it build Gordon Heuther‘s design for public art in Wards Corner.

The art is planned to be located in the median of Granby Street at the location of the current gateway sign near the intersection with Suburban Parkway.

The art is constructed with a stainless steel base and a 1-inch thick acrylic with a historical map of Wards Corner applied to the inside surface.  While the art is shaped like the Wards Corner intersection of Granby St and Little Creek Road, it also can appear like a bird in flight.  It is planned to be 15 feet tall and have a 12 foot “wingspan”.

The art will be ground-lit with color changing LED lights.

In what was a very lengthy collaborative process with the artist, this final piece both excited and pleased the Wards Corner art commission subcommittee.  Look forward to construction to begin in the new year.

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Public art location chosen at Wards Corner

April 27, 2014
Wards Corner public art artist, Gordon Huether

Wards Corner public art artist, Gordon Huether

The Wards Corner public art selection committee met last week on April 22 at Wards Corner with the chosen artist, Gordon Huether.  Karen Rudd, Manager of Norfolk’s Cultural Affairs, was in attendance as well as various City department staff and a representative from the developer of K & K Square.

Huether walked and drove the Wards Corner area and reached a recommended location in the median on Granby Street at the current location of the Wards Corner Mermaid sign located just south of the intersection with North Shore Rd.

Proposed location of public art at Wards Corner

Proposed location of public art at Wards Corner

Huether preferred this location to something closed to the intersection of Little Creek and Granby as it has less audio and visual noise.

It is hoped that the art can replace the current sign and be a gateway piece that may incorporate a new Wards Corner sign.

Huether will mock up a few different options and bring those back to the selection committee in the near future.


Virginian-Pilot’s Michelle Washington gives a good summary of recent developments at Wards Corner

January 5, 2014

The only update to the information in Michelle’s article that I have is that the artist for the public art at Wards Corner has been chosen and it is Gordon Heuther.  The next steps will be bringing Gordon to Norfolk and introducing him to Wards Corner.  There will be public meetings so that Mr. Heuther can meet the residents and receive input for the to-be-designed public art.  You can view Mr. Heuther’s website here.

Informative portions of the VP article include the history of the K&K name:

Wards Corner once again bears the K&K name.

Lots of history inhabits those letters. A red brick Harris Teeter now sits surrounded by fresh landscaping and newly paved streets close to where Kenneth Perry launched a toy empire. He started as a barber in Wards Corner in 1942.

More than a decade later, he bought a nearby variety store and changed its name to K&K 5&10, adding the second K for his wife, Kathryn. The toy section of that store grew until it became its own entity. K&K Toys expanded for decades, growing to 136 stores before Perry sold it to a competitor.

K&K Toys has been gone a long time. But most people in Norfolk and in much of the country recognize the successor to Kenneth Perry’s entrepreneurial spirit: Dollar Tree. It, too, grew its roots in Wards Corner, founded by Perry’s son, J. Douglas Perry, and son-in-law, Macon Brock.

Chris Perry, Kenneth Perry’s grandson, tore down the old shopping center, including a Dollar Tree store, to make way for Harris Teeter. He renamed it K&K Square at Wards Corner.

The property remains hugely important to his family, Perry said. Friends of his grandparents will be reminded of them by the name, and newcomers will have reason to look them up.

“It’s a nice way to remember them,” Perry said. “I think my grandparents would be proud.”

Perry also refurbished and remounted the Wards Corner mermaid, another reminder of his grandfather.

The full article can be read here.

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