Pictured above: Bay Oaks public art committee meets virtually on April 8, 2020 to tour the site with artists Jonathan and Saori Russell.
Ride Art Studio was selected to create a kinetic public art project for Bay Oaks Park. The project will be installed in 2021. Their design was approved in July 2020 and the sculpture is now in the works.
Bay Oaks Park is Norfolk’s newest park located one block from the sandy beaches and shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay, in the center of a residential area of Norfolk known as Ocean View. The park encompasses 11 acres of open space, dunes and many species of trees including live oak trees, some up to 100 years old. Live Oak Quercus Virginiana are majestic trees that are emblems of the South and Ocean View with sweeping limbs plunging toward the ground before shooting upward, creating an impressive array of branches. On any day one might see egrets, yellow crested night herons or perhaps a bald eagle nestled in the tree branches. The park is a triumph of nature and community over development and business. Residents fought for the park all the way to the Virginia State Supreme Court. Bay Oaks Park is a catalyst for the future of Ocean View, solidifying the history and solidarity of the community voice.
Ocean View has its own unique feel, and residents accept and embrace all kinds, believing that being different is good. It is a bright, sunny place on the Chesapeake Bay near Naval Station Norfolk. It is a tight-knit community having pulled together against weather, wind, water, and hurricanes. OV is known for swimming beaches, cottages, old trolleys, and a famous amusement park that closed in the late 1970’s. The area is experiencing a reemergence of development stewarded by community demand and ownership. The layout of the park and trails were designed to preserve as many of the long-standing Live Oak trees as possible, each tagged with its own identity.
The Public Art planning committee selected Ride Art Studio to create artwork that will make a statement about the park and serve as one of the pinnacles of Ocean View. It will enhance, but not mimic, what is already there, be natural and organic and stimulate thought, inspiring passerby’s to stop and experience the park. The artwork will speak to the strength and resiliency of the community.