It has been a long time in the making, but the city of Beckley has finally announced that they will be unveiling the Rising Cardinal sculpture in uptown.
Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold announced that the unveiling will take place on Sunday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. at the corner of Heber and Neville Streets.
The cardinal sculpture was created by Morgantown based sculptor Jamie Lester and engineered by Jeff Edwards. It will be located at the site of the former Beckley Hole.
Lester, who stated that he plans to be in Beckley for the unveiling admitted that he is both nervous and excited about the event.
“I am super excited to finally be able to unveil the sculpture,” Lester said in an interview with The West Virginia Daily News. “It’s been a long time because of Covid, but I am really excited for everyone to see it.”
“I always get really nervous before an unveiling,” Lester admitted. “I want people to like it and to think it makes a great addition to their city. I get nervous because I never know what people are going to think. I hope they appreciate it.”
He added that he thinks the city has done a tremendous job at transforming the area around the plaza where the sculpture is located.
Rappold stated the following in a press release: “We are excited to finally unveil the sculpture and complete the plaza. Thanks to Jamie, Jeff, Sam, public works and to all those involved with the sculpture and the plaza. This one-of-a-kind public art asset is unique to our community and it will become a special place to take photos with public art, plus add another mini-park to downtown.”
The plaza was designed by Sam Rich of Thrasher Engineering and constructed by the city’s public works department with landscaping by Green River Landscaping.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the unveiling.