Bristol's Cultural Heritage was unveiled at Bristol Public Library on October 23, 2014. It is 16 feet tall by 10 feet across, made of stainless steel, and weighs approximately 7,500 pounds. Designed by world-renowned illustrator Charles Vess of Abingdon, VA, and fabricated by Jim Gallucci of Greensboro, NC. Local artist Val Lyle, who created Take The Stage, managed the project.
"When you do an illustration, it's on a page and you see it at this angle, and a three dimensional sculpture you're walking all the way around it so you have to think about what it's going to look like from this angle and that angle, whether it will stay interesting," says Vess.
Each layer of the sculpture represents aspects of Bristol's unique story, including passenger rail, music, and our region's natural beauty. The piece was conceived by local interior designer and former AiPP board member Mary Jane Miller.
"Mary Jane Miller stood in my studio and told me of her vision and I just started drawing and it flooded out of my fingers," Vess recalls. "It has a passenger train because so many people came to Bristol on the train, and I really want to see passenger rail return. It has music and agriculture — it’s all in there."