Thursday, December 1, 2022

Canoes on your drive home: Lesner Bridge welcomes new public art

"The Canoes" sculpture will sit on the Lesner Bridge in Virginia Beach (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)
“The Canoes” sculpture will sit on the Lesner Bridge in Virginia Beach. (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Lesner Bridge here is about to get a new flair.

​On July 28 at 11 a.m, the public is invited to the dedication of The Canoes, a large-scale sculpture by artist Donald Lipski.

“Virginia Beach citizens worked for two years to raise all of the needed funds to make this project a reality,” said Andrew Fine, president of the Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation.

During the dedication ceremony, Fine and his wife, Barbara, will be recognized as recipients of the city’s 2018 Champion for the Arts Award.

Located on the pedestrian overlook of the new Lesner Bridge, The Canoes ushers visitors into the beauty of the historic Chesapeake Bay area with 10 full-size aluminum canoes, according to a news release from the city.

Each canoe has been stamped and punched with elaborate lace patterns, a nod to the decorative arts of the early settlers. The canoes are joined at the center in a stylized sunburst, balanced atop a tall arch. It is lit in the evening by LED lights for visibility, and features a seating area overlooking spectacular views, creating a welcoming gateway to the Bayfront area.

“My hope is that this sculpture speaks to your history, to what you are today and to what you will be tomorrow,” Lipski said.

“The City of Virginia Beach is very appreciative of all the citizens who donated their money and time to give this breathtaking sculpture to our community and make Virginia Beach a more vibrant place to live and visit,” Mayor Louis Jones said.

Designated event parking for the dedication will be located near the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility.

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