The Release the Fear (a.k.a. "The Melted Weapons") Sculpture

If you've been at the intersection of Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street in downtown Phoenix, you might have spotted the giant metal sculpture situated by the Metro Light Rail stop.

The figure is supposed to represent a man raising his arms toward the sky, though it's also been likened to Gumby and shotgun barrels.

The sculpture is titled "Release the Fear," and it was made partially from 8,000 pounds of metal taken from "weapons used in violent acts collected throughout Arizona," according to the inscription at the base of the statue.

Local artist

Robert John Miley

spent more than ten years gathering materials and funds to erect "Release the Fear". The City of Phoenix donated the space for the statue, and law enforcement donated the confiscated weapons.

The weapons were melted down into a 3-D collage around the base of the statue, and are clearly visible as weapons -- revolver chambers, bullets, shotgun barrels, and triggers all mesh together into a poignant piece of art.

​Local high school students and convicts from chain gangs volunteered to help Miley throughout the creative process and construction. By the time the sculpture was finished in 2005, it stood 24-feet tall and weighed about 8.5 tons.

Miley named the sculpture after an organization he founded in 1996 called Release the Fear, Inc., a non-profit organization that seeks to "counter the effects of violence in our society," according to the website.

Last February, Miley received a reward for helping with the capture of fugitive Michael Chaves, and was featured on America's Most Wanted. Miley donated his reward to Release the Fear, Inc.

There's plenty to see around Miley's Release the Fear sculpture, aside from the colossal sculpture itself. One of the most interesting details surrounding the sculpture are the quotes from famous peace advocates, including this one from Mahatma Gandhi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Check out more about Release the Fear and Miley's work at www.releasethefear.org.

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