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Peace Bird Lands at Van Dyck Park

Post Date:07/10/2020 11:34 AM

Artist Michael Cain Installs Peace Bird SculptureThe City of Fairfax recently installed a new piece of public art in Van Dyck Park called Peace Bird, designed by New Orleans-based artist Michael Cain. The six-foot-tall, brushed aluminum sculpture was installed Thursday, July 9, 2020.  Peace Bird was placed in memory of local advocate Armistice Turtora, a longstanding member of the City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Peace Bird is located at the top of the Armistice Turtora Field in Van Dyck Park, next to an existing memorial bench and plaque that describes her civic contributions.

Michael Cain is a sought after musician and multimedia artist, whose public art pieces can be seen all over Louisiana. He wanted “the bird to be a mirror-like surface to reflect the surroundings” of the park. The vertical pedestal on which Peace Bird is mounted complements the trees around it.

Armistice Turtora was born November 11, 1926.  She lived in the City of Fairfax from 1959 until her death in 2017.  Turtora was actively involved in the community throughout her 56 years in the city.  She served on the Country Club Hills Civic Association in a number of roles including president. Turtora was also instrumental in the establishment of Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, serving as its first chair in 1969.  In 2005 she joined the Commission on the Arts, where she served for 10 years. 

The Commission on the Arts is thrilled to add this piece to the City of Fairfax’s collection of public art.  Former chair of the Commission on the Arts Molly Grimsley, said, “The verticality and motion of the bird suggests hope and new experiences, yet, it also brings a sense of peace and meditation, which, for those of who knew Armistice, fits in with her.”

The City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts collected donations upon Turtora’s death with the intention of placing a piece of public art in Van Dyck Park in her honor. Turtora’s daughter, Janice Turtora Zagardo, made a matching contribution to ensure that Peace Bird could be made. The mayor and city council approved the funding for Peace Bird on January 22, 2019.

For more information, contact Megan DuBois, cultural arts manager for the City of Fairfax, at 703-273-6097, or via email at megan.dubois@fairfaxva.gov.

Commission on the Arts Background

The City of Fairfax Commission on the Arts was established in 1979 by the City of Fairfax Council to encourage, promote, and provide opportunity for artistic expression within the city. Since then, the Commission on the Arts has been working to continue the enrichment of the community through funding, information, encouragement, exhibits, education, and coordination.

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