“Through the darkness of the heavens shine the lights of knowledge.” – Tom Grubb –
Tom Grubb is an artist, specifically a sculptor, who uses his knowledge of missile technology and abstract space exploration in his work. He is educated and experienced in both areas. These days he’s creating artwork in his home studio and experimenting with new technology. Grubb’s 20 years in Fayetteville are immortalized in three sculptures which have become part of the community’s landscape —from the airport to downtown. He received a National Endowment for the Arts project grant for his sculpture “Star Gate 2003.” He created another piece, “Sprint Voyager,” for Fayetteville’s Festival of Flight, also in 2003. His local art was chronicled in an Up & Coming Weekly cover story that year. His works have been exhibited in collections and museums in the United States and abroad. Grubb was Executive Director of Fayetteville’s Museum of Art from 1990 to 2010. When the museum went under, Grubb moved on and now makes his home on the ocean in Washington, N.C. Art, his sailboat and teaching art appreciation at Beaufort Community College are his life today.
His first local work of art was erected at the airport in 1988. More recently came “Star Gate 2003” at the roundabout near the Headquarters Library. “Sprint Voyager” is off Hillsboro and East Rowan Streets near downtown. It’s actually a telephone company cell tower for which Sprint won an award as the “most creative cite concealment of a tower.” It was noted as “the height of ingenuity” in the New York Times Magazine.
Perhaps you’ve wondered about the inspiration for his futuristic designs.
“I combine elements found in physics, astronomy, navigation and sacred geometry to create my works of art. I believe that the arts and sciences are closely connected to the health of the human spirit. It is through this seeking of the unknown that one can grow and develop as a human being on planet earth. I create these works of art that are part ancient, part futuristic and part spiritual to inspire the viewer to consider the unlimited possibilities of exploring earth and the universe,” said Grubb.
Time is taking its toll on both local sculptures. They need painting. Presumably CenturyLink inherited maintenance responsibility for maintaining the “Voyager” which the now-defunct Sprint originally agreed to maintain. Grubb says painting “Star Gate 2003” is up to the City of Fayetteville. He tells Up & Coming Weekly that he’s working with Michael Gibson, Director of the Parks & Recreation Department, to have the painting taken care of. The sculptures are made primarily of aluminum and stainless steel. Grubb says he has volunteered to oversee the painting. The two poles from which the sculpture is suspended have already been painted.