Val Lyle Artist Studio

Public Sculpture


"Innocence Remembered", the Light of Hope sculpture was unveiled November 6th 2009 at the Carey E. Garrett Juvenile Court Building in Knoxville, TN. The sculpture in bronze of two life-sized children was commissioned by CASA of East Tennessee. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children in juvenile court. These volunteers represent the best interests of the victimized child with the goal of securing a safe, permanent home. Both Federal and State laws allow judges to appoint CASA volunteers to "speak up" for the child's best interests. Light of Hope is both a memorial to lives lost due to child abuse and a celebration of lives saved by caring.
The concepts for the sculpture were explored and refined in numerous meetings between myself and the CASA volunteers, board members and director, Carolyn Doty. Initially we did not know if it would be marble or bronze, abstract or representational. At one point I asked "What emotion(s) do you want the sculpture to evoke? What do you want people to feel when they see this piece?" The answer was "Rage. And Hope." Rage that this problem exists in our community, Hope that we can make a positive change. From that consensus, I presented a dozen designs that were discussed and refined into the powerful piece you see today. I chose the shape of a compressed triangle to deliberately call attention that this was not a standard "stable" square or rectangle, that something was askew. Diagonals in artworks are "action" loaded, and as you follow the sidewalk around the sculpture, the diagonals created by the stone call for action. I chose the black granite stone and the traditional cemetery base stone as a not-so-subtle reminder that this is a true monument.

The distressed child on the right sits atop the inscription "In Memory of Lives Lost to Child Abuse" and the comforting child on the left, who has an arm around the shoulders of the first child, sits atop the inscription "In Celebration of Lives Saved Through Caring." The life-sized children are a compilation of kind neighbors' and friends' children as I did not have specific models to work from.

"Entwined Dancers", Abingdon Va 2009



Poster design by Sam Mayes, Photo by Nina Rizzo, sculpture by Val Lyle © 2008 

Each year, the Virginia Highlands Festival commissions an artist to create a signature piece to represent the Festival and its theme. For 2009, the Festival chose Val Lyle of Bristol, Tennessee, as their signature artist, and Lyle offered her newest rope sculpture, "Entwined Dancers." The Festival accepted it and made "Entwined in the Virginia Highlands" their 2009 theme.

On Thursday, July 23, 2009, the Festival presented "Entwined Dancers" to the Town of Abingdon. The piece is now a permanent fixture of community art at Main Street Park, across from the U.S. Post Office.

"Caterpillar Crawl" bronzes in downtown Bristol Va/Tn 2009

"Feminine Entwinement", Bristol Tn/Va 2008-2009

AiPP Art in Public Places People's Choice Award was given to Lyle's "Feminine Entwinement" 2008-2009

"Picture This" Outdoor installation by Val Lyle 1987-present

Public Sculpture requires special considerations.
Safety and security share importance with appropriate content and execution of ideas.
I believe in listening to all the different ideas and opinions involved before formulating a proposal.
I have successfully worked with four different cities and eight different major organizations
creating proposals, models, time lines and budgets to help them realize their public art project.
References on request.

Model for "Light of Hope" Sculpture commissioned by CASA Knoxville, TN

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