“Immigrant Gate II,” a sculpture created by North Carolina artist Jim Gallucci, will be officially unveiled at its new permanent home near the community center in Millbrook Exchange Park, 1905 Spring Forest Road, on Thursday, Sept. 9 at noon.
Mayor Charles Meeker and Mr. Gallucci will deliver remarks. The ribbon-cutting event also will include a naturalization oath ceremony administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Sanderson High School Air Force ROTC Color Guard, the Millbrook High School Madrigals who will sing the national anthem, and additional music provided by International Focus. Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.
Mr. Gallucci created “Immigrant Gate II” in 1997. Comprised of welded powder-coated steel, the sculpture is 10 feet long, 4 feet wide, and over 12 feet high. “This gate was designed in remembrance of my family coming to America as Italian immigrants in the 1930s,” said Mr. Gallucci, who is known for his series of gates. “This gate is symbolic of arriving and being welcomed into a rich new world full of opportunity.”
Other works by Gallucci in Raleigh include the “Light Towers” on City Plaza in Downtown Raleigh, the interactive “Whisper Bench” at the North Carolina Museum of Art Park, and “Time Passage,” which Mr. Gallucci recently installed at the entrance to the Hospice of Wake County.
First shown at the Pier Walk in Chicago in 1997, “Immigrant Gate II” came to Raleigh as part of the 2004 Downtown Raleigh Sculpture Expo. The City of Raleigh Arts Commission purchased the art piece for the City’s permanent art collection, and it was subsequently installed near the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The opening of the Raleigh Convention Center in 2008 necessitated the relocation of the sculpture. After researching various possible sites, the Arts Commission recommended Millbrook Exchange Park as the new home for the sculpture. The City’s Parks, Recreation and Greenway Advisory Board and the City Council subsequently approved the recommendation. Earlier this year, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department supervised site preparations and the construction of a walk and pedestal for the sculpture. Mr. Gallucci refurbished the sculpture and installed it at Millbrook Park.
“After migrating from the artist’s studio to Chicago, then to downtown Raleigh, Immigrant Gate II has found a wonderful setting in one of our City’s parks,” said June Guralnick, executive director of the Arts Commission. “Since the sculpture was inspired by the immigration to this country of the artist’s family, it is especially meaningful that his art will mark the site where we will welcome new Americans at the naturalization oath ceremony on Sept. 9.”
Established in 1977 as the official advisory body and advocate for the arts to the Raleigh City Council, the City of Raleigh Arts Commission holds the distinction of being the first municipal arts commission created in North Carolina. Serving as the leading force to champion the arts with Raleigh citizens and their representatives, the Arts Commission’s myriad activities foster, support, and promote the arts in the Capital City.
For more information about “Immigrant Gate II” and the dedication ceremony, contact Belva.parker[at]raleighnc.gov, call the Arts Commission office at 996-3610, or visit the Arts Commission’s website at www.raleighnc.gov/arts.