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Rob Mulholland's mesmerizing art coming to Paradise Creek Nature Park.

Scottish Sculptor to Create First Major US Installation at Paradise Creek Nature Park, Thanks to NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded the non-profit Elizabeth River Project a $50,000 grant to bring renowned Scottish sculptor Rob Mulholland to Paradise Creek Nature Park in Portsmouth in 2016 for his first major installation in the US. The grant to Elizabeth River Project is one of only three Our Town grants awarded by NEA in Virginia for 2015.

Mulholland ( has exhibited internationally with mirrored stainless steel sculptures that reflect the constant flux of nature. He explores “the intricate relationship we have with our natural environment.”

“The mesmerizing environmental art of Rob Mulholland will catalyze our vision for the restoration of the Elizabeth River,” said Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Executive Director, Elizabeth River Project.

With the grant, Mulholland will create up to ten permanent outdoor sculptures and ten temporary sculptures. In 2016, Elizabeth River Project will move RIVERFest to two new locations, Elizabeth River Park in Chesapeake, and Paradise Creek Nature Park, just across the Jordan Bridge. Temporary sculptures, designed by Mulholland with the assistance of at-risk youth from the community, will be used as guides leading festival goers from the Chesapeake Park across the Jordan Bridge, to the permanent sculptures installed in Paradise Creek Nature Park.

The Elizabeth River Project opened the 40-acre Paradise Creek Nature Park in 2013 with the City of Portsmouth as its third largest public park. Construction is underway for recreation and education facilities to be completed in spring 2016.

“What a world-class splash Mr. Mullholland will make, as our first artist-in-residence at the new Beazley environmental education center we will open at the park in 2016,” said Mayfield Jackson. “We are very grateful to the NEA for this prestigious and important support.”

The NEA’s Our Town grant program supports creative place-making projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful and resilient places with the arts at their core. The Elizabeth River Project, headquartered in Norfolk, conducts education and restoration programs to reclaim the health of the Elizabeth River.