Meet Ed Carpenter, Charlotte’s Newest Public Artist

Categories: ASC, Blog

Ed Carpenter is renowned throughout the world for his large scale public art installations which have included pedestrian and gateway bridges, stained glass windows and monumental sculptural works. Carpenter is also known as a pioneer in the process of creating dichroic glass – glass that contains “multiple micro-layers of metals or oxides” – a fixture in many of his pieces.

Carpenter with Nicole Bartlett, ASC Program Director, Public Art.

Two years ago, Carpenter was selected by the ASC managed Public Art Commission to design and fabricate a large-scale gateway installation at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. What the artist ultimately came up with was a 60-foot tall, steel fabricated form that suggests imagery associated with the excitement of flight and contains evocations of aircraft, feathers and ascent. The piece heavily incorporates colorful, dichroic glass that plays off both natural and artificial lighting. Installation will take place in mid-August.

Carpenter, who lives and works in Portland, Ore., is the grandson of an artist and step-son of an architect. Growing up, he spent his summers working in his step-father’s office. During the early-1970s, Carpenter studied architectural glass art in Europe. He received his first major commission in 1973. In the years since, Carpenter has completed nearly 100 major installations for a diverse array of clients from Northern Ireland to Florida to Japan.

The artist, who frequently uses light as inspiration, is constantly embracing new and different commissions challenging him to develop new approaches and skills.

In this short documentary by filmmaker Peter Coonradt, Carpenter talks about his life, his process and his art.

[vimeo 9946141 w=500 h=281]

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for updates on the project and the installation of Carpenter’s piece at Charlotte Douglas.