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Arts Council of the Valley announces installation of #BigVespa sculpture

Arts Council of the ValleyArts Council of the Valley will soon install a 16-foot tall sculpture, #BigVespa, in front of its Smith House Galleries at 311 S. Main St. in Harrisonburg.

Created by William Snyder III, #BigVespa is one of two Snyder sculptures scheduled for installation locally this spring. The other, The Blue Rider, will be located at The Oliver Art House, 131 S. Main St., Broadway.

Inspired by his interest in Vespa scooters and their iconic shape, Snyder created #BigVespa, the first of his six-inch-thick, hollow aluminum sculptures, in 2014. He added the companion piece in 2016.

Snyder has taken the sculptures from New York City to Memphis. They have most recently been on display in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Snyder will retrieve them for the upcoming installation.

Both sculptures should be installed shortly before the April 21 Great Community Give, when visitors will be encouraged to stop by during the day to take and post selfies, using #BigVespaACV and #BlueRiderOliverArtHouse on social media to help cultivate a digital scrapbook.

“These sculptures are near to my heart and such a joy to see,” Snyder said. “I’m thrilled with the partnership to be able to display and share them with my new hometown community.”

Snyder, who exhibits nationally, recently opened The Oliver Art House with his wife Moon. He holds an undergraduate degree in Integrative Arts and Master of Fine Arts from Penn State.

A collaboration among Riner Rentals (underwriting the lease for both works), ACV’s Advancing the Arts grant program (covering installation costs), and the artist, the two sculpture installations are slated to remain in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County for three years.

“Public art in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County is growing in both scope and creativity,” noted Paul Riner of Riner Rentals. “Bringing such a fun and unique sculpture to the heart of Downtown Harrisonburg, as well as its sister sculpture to the Town of Broadway, is an absolute pleasure,” he said.

“We hope this artist/business/nonprofit collaboration model can be one that is replicated and grown in the future throughout our community to really shine light on the incredible art and artists we are so lucky to have here,” Riner added.

ACV programs are supported, in part, by 2021 Cultivating the Arts Platinum Sponsors: Kathy Moran Wealth Group, Matchbox Realty, and Riner Rentals.