Rolfe Neill is the revered retired editor and publisher of the Charlotte Observer. Many in the city credit him being the voice of the resurgence and development of the city core. His editorials aired his opinions on events, politics and changing culture. For many years he encouraged the building of important civic buildings downtown, bringing housing back to the city core and making Charlotte a vibrant and forward looking cultural center. His life is based upon a strong sense of moral justice, intellectual curiosity and civic idealism. In our conversations he revealed himself as a wonderfully accessible person, unafraid of emotion, passionate about ideas, politics and with a deep love for his family. He is known as the Patron Saint of the Arts for his cultural advocacy. A group of friends and colleagues pooled resources and approached the city about honoring him with an art work in a prominent civic space. The sculpture environment, The Writer`s Desk, is located in the plaza of ImaginOn, Children`s Learning Center, a combined library and theater. The challenge of the art work was to create a tribute to Rolfe Neill, but also make a sculpture which gave insight into the purpose of the building. The “tools of the writer” became the foundation of the artwork: the keys of his favorite typewriter form theater seats that face a stage, scattered pencils are benches and ink stamps with carved bas-relief are engraved with his moral guides: “See the Truth, Speak the Truth and Hear the Truth.” A tower of black and white books, as a beacon for the city, is engraved with excerpts from his writings. It is topped by an inkwell and gilded quill pen that moves as a weathervane. Like Rolfe, testing the wind.

Completed, 2005