Above: Artist Hoss Haley with a model of his “Old Growth,” which will make an appearance in the River Arts District.
Asheville artist Hoss Haley’s latest work will take a stop through the River Arts District, emerging over the coming months at the former site of the Ice House off Riverside Drive. In an agreement with the City of Asheville, the sculptor has leased the site as a temporary staging ground for his piece “Old Growth.” The 40-foot tall, 50,000 pound steel sculpture is a commission for the City of Charlotte and will be shipped to its permanent home in sections. But first, Haley needed a spot locally to assemble the parts. “We were looking for a place to do a sort of dry run, so that’s when we got the city involved,” Haley says from his Haywood Road studio.
Haley is well known in Asheville for, among other projects, the Pack Square Park Fountain and the steel pergola above the Pack Square stage. Steel components of “Old Growth” are currently being shaped and will begin appearing at the Riverside Drive site in March. Throughout its residency, visitors to the River Arts District will be able to see “Old Growth” grow as Haley and his team place and secure each element.
Though Haley will omit the sculpture’s base during its appearance in Asheville (it requires the custom construction of its own pad) the largest section will still reach an impressive three stories high and span 40 feet.
Riverfront Redevelopment Office Director Stephanie Monson Dahl said that watching the sculpture take shape in the River Arts District compliments the area’s already strong identity as a place for residents and visitors to experience regional arts and culture. “When the City found out Hoss Haley was interested in the old Ice House site, we were excited to make it happen,” Monson Dahl said. “The River Arts District Business Association voiced their support for this kind of temporary use of City property, as it strengthens the work the River Arts District Artists have been doing in this area for years.
The River Arts District is one of three areas in the city designated as an Innovation District by Asheville City Council, and is ground zero for spearhead initiatives like the RADTIP. Learn more about Innovation Districts by visiting the City’s project page.