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A sign of 'hope' on Main Street

The giant "hope" sign in Columbia reminds people to keep their spirits up.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new art installation on Main Street is serving as a sign of hope for the people of Columbia.

Displayed in big, wooden letters on the green space of First Citizens Bank is the word “hope.”

People walking by the new art installation in the Capital City said it puts a smile on their face.

“I like the word I guess,” Lindley Russell, a downtown Columbia resident says, “because, I feel like, especially right now hope is really important. It’s something that everyone needs.”

Philippe Rigaud works on Main Street. 

“Oh my god [the sign] is awesome. It gives me a lot of hope and faith. I mean, I believe that in life that’s one of the best ingredients. Not having faith, not having hope is like having coffee with no sugar,” Rigaud said. 

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The art installation is called “Hope for Columbia” and can be found on the corner of Main Street and Lady Street. City Center Partnership commissioned South Carolina artists Danny Harrington and Brandon McIver to create it.

Matt Kennell, President and CEO of City Center Partnership, wants it to be a reminder to the community.  

“We needed to make people think about the future and about how things were going to get better and COVID-19 will pass.”

Kennell says the sign was also a great opportunity to showcase the new City of Columbia flag that was revealed earlier this year.

“Well the times that we live in right now are very uncertain and you really need that assurance that everything’s going to be alright.” Rigaud said, “walking around and seeing [that sign], it gives you that “ah” – breathe – you’re not alone.”

Kennell’s hope is that people come out and enjoy the art installation. 

“If they come out to Main Street, it’s a great place to walk around. [There are] wide sidewalks. And this is a great place to stop. Great selfie spot,” he laughed.

According to Kennell, the art installation will remain for two years. If it becomes popular enough, however, he says he will try to make it permanent.