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Art + endurance after 9/11

The RISE St. Pete Memorial in the Warehouse Arts District, St. Petersburg.

The RISE St. Pete Memorial in the Warehouse Arts District.

Photo by Alex Kaufman. RISE concept/design/fabrication by MGA Sculpture Studio with Huffman General Contractors.

This Sunday, during the Patriot Day event at the RISE St. Pete Memorial, New York Ballet Theatre’s Steven Melendez will be among the guests, speaking about the impact of 9/11 on the arts community.

The resilience of artists, and the necessity of art, were more evident than ever in the aftermath of the attacks. The RISE memorial is itself evidence of art’s power to heal.

Conceived, designed and fabricated by St. Petersburg’s MGA Sculpture Studio with Huffman General Contractors, it incorporates one of the last pieces of World Trade Center steel to be recovered from “ground zero” and sits atop a pile of white limestone, reminiscent of the crumbled concrete that littered the ground in the aftermath of the attack. The 25-foot-tall phoenix wing that envelops the steel completes the message of rebirth in the wake of tragedy.

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