What’s that on the corner of 23rd Street and West Avenue in Newport News? Art that moves.

·2 min read
Jonathon Gruenke/Daily Press/TNS

Newport News had visions of installing art that could be used to generate power for electric cars.

Staff ran into challenges figuring out how to do the latter but decided it was still worth installing the art downtown.

In late April, the city placed the sculpture at the corner of 23rd Street and West Avenue in the city’s Yard District. The silver-colored piece of art stands more than 16 feet tall with s-shaped pieces that move in the wind.

The city considered several different pieces before deciding on “Fluidity,” created by Will Carr, an artist from the United Kingdom.

“‘Fluidity’ is my largest and most ambitious kinetic wind sculpture so far,” Carr said in a statement. “I endeavor to bring a sense of joy to its viewers with its ever-changing flows of energy.”

Carr spent nine months developing the piece, which can move with even the slightest of winds. He’s spent years creating kinetic wind sculptures inspired by the merging of art, nature and technology.

Kinetic art — art that moves — has its foundation in two early 20th-century art movements, Dadaism and Constructivism.

The art is part of the city’s multi-pronged approach to bringing people downtown.

The city hopes the sculpture will catch people’s attention and interest as they’re traveling along West Avenue, according to Sheila McAllister, the city’s director of planning.

She said the piece was chosen because “it flowed well and wasn’t too ornate” and fit in with the existing industrial surroundings.

Newport News has been working to draw people to the area with events and to make that part of the city more accessible with free parking and adding additional lighting. McAllister said the city is also considering adding more art to the area.

Jessica Nolte, 757-912-1675, jnolte@dailypress.com