By David Fowler
Last month, the Arts & Science Council hired Constance Y. White as its new Vice President of Public Art to lead the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public art program. White will bring to ASC 17 years of experience facilitating creative projects from inception to completion. She began her career as an arts administrator at the Office of Cultural Affairs in the city of Dallas, Texas, before moving to San Diego, where she served as Art Program Manager for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. ASC is excited for White to begin her new role in Charlotte-Mecklenburg on Sept. 2. She recently answered a few questions about her experiences, how Greek antiquities sparked her love of public art and what she expects in her new role.
Q: What attracts you to public art and the cultural sector in general?
CYW: I focused on Greek antiquities while earning my undergrad. That strongly influenced my appreciation of and cultivated my passion for art in public places and a desire to engage communities through art and culture. Our human desire to create, present and preserve our art and culture is what makes us civilized. This is what I love.
Q: Is there a project that you have worked on that you think is particularly important to you or to a community in which you’ve lived?
CYW: I think the Green Build as a project is particularly important to the region of San Diego. It is the largest collection of contemporary art accessible to the public in San Diego. Over 18 million passengers yearly experience these site specific artworks – some monumental – some very quiet and human scaled. When I arrived to San Diego eight years ago, I was told by most that San Diego is a military town, a beach community and most importantly, “we do not want to be L.A.” Without offending the majority of those folks, we were able to curate a collection of commissioned artwork that has raised the expectations of what the public will accept for the community of San Diego as a region. Transforming that mindset has been particularly important to me.
Q: What are you most excited about in your new role as Vice President of Public Art?
CYW: I’m most excited about getting to know the region and understanding the dynamics of the various communities both collectively and individually.
Q: Nothing worthwhile is easy. What do you think your biggest challenge will be?
CYW: I think my biggest challenge will be to pace myself and take one day at a time.
Q: What do you ultimately hope to accomplish in your new role at ASC?
CYW: I want to become fully acclimated as an active member of the community. I think everything else will come naturally.