By Nicole Bartlett, Advocacy Coordinator
Last week was an eventful one for public art in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. A new work of public art settled in to its home in the Belmont neighborhood and last Friday marked the groundbreaking of Romare Bearden Park, which will be the site for another new artwork. Charlotte-Mecklenburg is fortunate to have City and County 1% for Art Ordinances which help make these and other public art projects possible.
Early in the week, artist Charles Partin’s brick relief works were installed on the neighborhood’s newly constructed markers. The community gateways were conceived as part of the Belmont Area Revitalization Plan developed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission. The artist researched the area’s history to develop his carvings for the neighborhood. Partin’s studies for the project led him to the Levine Museum’s exhibit on mill society and its effects on the city of Charlotte. The resulting work enhances the area and speaks to the neighborhood’s history of textile mills and housing.
On Friday, many came out to celebrate the Romare Bearden Park groundbreaking. The park was designed by LandDesign in collaboration with Artist Norie Sato and commemorates the work of the internationally renowned artist Romare Bearden, who was born near the park site. Sato’s concepts were inspired by Bearden’s multimedia collages which incorporated his memory and experiences.
ASC administers the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Art Program with the guidance of an appointed Public Art Commission. The Commission is comprised of volunteer citizens from the arts, education and business sectors and is charged with overseeing a community-based artist selection process for each public artwork. The Public Art Program strives to educate the public, enhance our spaces, and aid in economic development. We are fortunate to have distinctive public art throughout the County- inside public buildings, on roadsides, plazas and parks – so next time you spot one stop to explore and learn more.