Late last month, ASC, the Charlotte City Council, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Charlotte 2012 Host Committee helped kick-off the Democratic National Convention by dedicating Ascendus in honor of former Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Susan Burgess.
More than 50 people, including friends, family and elected officials came together at CPCC’s Harris Campus around the corner from the artwork to recognize the indelible mark Burgess made on Charlotte-Mecklenburg through her thirty-plus years of public service.
The at times light-hearted and emotional ceremony included remembrances from Burgess’ son and former City Councilman Jason, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and DNC President and CEO Steve Kerrigan.
“We chose this piece at this time — it was no mistake. Susan was one of the first proponents for bringing the DNC to Charlotte.” said Foxx. “Her work on the Democratic National Convention, as well as her tireless years of service made this a no-brainer — we must honor her legacy as she always honored the City of Charlotte.”
Ed Carpenter’s 60 foot tall by 25 foot wide sculpture is designed to be an instantly recognizable icon located at a key entry way to the Airport. A feather provided the inspiration for the artwork that evokes flight and welcomes travelers coming and going at North Billy Graham Parkway and R.C. Josh Birmingham Parkway. Carpenter, specializes in large-scale public installations ranging from architectural sculpture to infrastructure design. The artwork was fabricated locally by Charlotte-based SteelFab.
Funding for the sculpture was generated from the city’s one percent for arts ordinance. Each year an amount equal to one percent of eligible capital projects at the airport is allocated for public art. As the airport is a self-sustaining enterprise fund, revenues from airport user and vendor fees help to fund the aviation public art allocation.