Neon sculpture to memorialize victims of Sept. 11 attacks
The Peace Ring, a sculpture of neon tubes and aluminum, will be on display in Rochester during a memorial observance for victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
The sculpture will be placed near the West Shelter in Silver Lake Park, where the observance will take place starting at 6:30 p.m. A brief ceremony will be at the shelter at 7:30 p.m.
Robert Johnson of Minneapolis, the sculptor, said he conceived the idea for the Peace Ring shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks and began work on it in October. It is 12 feet in diameter and features multicolored tubes and the word "peace" inscribed in 19 languages.
He said the purpose of the sculpture is to encourage people to think about peace and about how small the world is.
Johnson, 39, studied painting at St.Cloud State University and sculpture at the Minneapolis Academy of Art and Design. He said the work was financed with a grant from Forecast, a St. Paul nonprofit group, and the Jerome Foundation, both of which support art in public places.
He specializes in sculptures that involve the use of neon and also operates Neoneon of Minneapolis, a commercial sign company.