Release the Fear - Melted Weapons Sculpture
Pedestrians and drivers on Central Ave. and East Roosevelt St. no doubt experience a chill when they first notice the pile of pistols, knives, rifles and other deadly weapons at the base of an otherwise merry stylized figure bursting out of the pavement.
Upon closer inspection, it's obvious the weapons are safely fused to the base of the sculpture. "Release the Fear" was erected in this tiny public park in 2005 by Phoenix artist Robert John Miley. It's composed of 8 1/2 tons of metal, of which 8,000 lbs. is from "weapons used in violent acts collected throughout Arizona," according to the inscription.
Statues have been made of confiscated guns before, but the arsenal is often reduced to a featureless, re-purposed metal state, the use symbolic. "Release the Fear" is more direct -- the ballistic goods plainly visible on a 24-ft. tall figure done in a style that should be familiar to readers of weekly church bulletins.
Artist Miley, who spent 10 years finding sponsors and sources for the building materials, envisioned it as a Phoenix rising from the ashes (all statuary in this town should be under suspicion of rising from something.). The funders' names are inscribed on irregular stone slabs on each side.
Miley continues to promote the power of education and art to combat violence, running a community awareness program since 1996. The Melt-the-Guns "Release the Fear" Man is the logo.