Public artwork 'Unity,' by artist Hank Willis Thomas, unveiled in Brooklyn

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- Officials in Brooklyn have unveiled a new public artwork called "Unity" that was commissioned as part of the ongoing reconstruction of Tillary Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

Installed on the western Tillary Street median at the intersection with Adams Street, the piece by artist Hank Willis Thomas welcomes travelers from the Brooklyn Bridge and creates a new landmark at this high profile location.

"This sculpture is an homage to and celebration of the unique and multi-faceted character of the borough of Brooklyn," Willis Thomas said. "The spirit of Brooklyn has always been about upward mobility and connection to roots. The large-scale sculpture of a bronze arm pointing toward the sky is intended to convey to a wide audience a myriad of ideas about individual and collective identity, ambition, and perseverance."

The artwork is a 22.5-foot bronze sculpture of an arm protruding from the ground and pointing upward toward the sky, echoing the Statue of Liberty's iconic gesture.

"Works of public art shape and define open spaces across New York City," said Kendal Henry, Director of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs' Percent for Art program. "With 'Unity,' Hank Willis Thomas captures a huge range of meaning with a simple form, conveying a sense of uplift, hope, and a little bit of Brooklyn attitude at this prominent site. We are thrilled to join our partners at DDC and DOT to install this instantly iconic work of public art."

The artist worked closely with UAP Polich Tallix, located in nearby Rock Tavern, New York, throughout the fabrication of Unity.

The foundry was provided with a 3-D file of the artwork, which was then milled into 10-pound foam patterns.

UAP Polich Tallix then used multiple fine art bronze casting processes to create the sculpture, which subsequently received a patina finish and was transported from their facilities directly to the installation site.

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership will serve as the local maintenance partner for the artwork.

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