Monday, July 16, 2012

Washington chips in toward North Tryon art

The federal National Endowment for the Arts is giving Charlotte $100,000 to help commission art for a revitalization project for North Tryon Street. 

It's part of the NEA's Our Town program, which aims to help communities improve their quality of life, reinvigorate their economies and encourage creative activity. This year's 80 grants, totaling $4.995 million, are spread among 44 states and the District of Columbia. 

The Charlotte art will be part of a "green" streetscape running along North Tryon from Dalton Avenue, a few block above I-277, to West 30th Street, the Arts & Science Council says. The city of Charlotte and ASC applied for the grant together, and the ASC will also put in money. 

"This grant is great news for the North Tryon Street corridor and its residents," Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "Strong neighborhoods are critical to a strong local economy." 

Rather than aiming for a certain number of separate sculptures, the ASC and city hope to have the art woven into the entire streetscape, said Nicole Bartlett, the ASC's program director for public art. It might include furniture, lampposts or other elements. 

The art is expected to cost about $260,000, Bartlett said. Besides the NEA money, the city has about $95,000 in its public art budget, she said. The ASC will also put money in.  

The ASC will invite a group of artists to submit proposals this fall, Bartlett said. Once an artist is picked, he or she will start designing the art during have a three-month residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art, which is a few blocks below the site. The ASC hopes the residency will take place in the spring.   

Kinston, Wilson and Star have also received Our Town grants. Wilson, whose $250,000 grant is the biggest in the Carolinas, will use it to help build the Vollis Simpson Windmill Park. The park will feature folk artist Vollis Simpson's creations, which have brought the area publicity and tourists. In South Carolina, the NEA is funding projects in Charleston and Pendleton. 


Bill Stevens said...

Oh great, more mosaic tiled trash cans! On taxpayer dollars. That should really enhanced the quality of life in this area.

Anonymous said...

Good thing the national debt has been erased and the federal government is flush with cash to waste on frivolities like this.