By Bernie Petit
The Arts & Science Council (ASC), the Public Art Commission and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Public Art Ordinance Saturday with two events that highlight the importance of public artwork.
Why are we celebrating the Public Art Ordinance? It’s because the ordinance, adopted by the city of and the county, established a consistent funding source for public art in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Everyone who cares about public art in Mecklenburg County is asked to take part in the free “Finding Your Part in Public Art” scavenger hunt from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. along the Tryon Street “cultural mile” in uptown Charlotte. You can begin the hunt at the McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St., and walk south on Tryon Street to the Levine Center for the Arts on South Tryon Street (think the Bechtler, the Gantt Center, Knight Theater and Mint Museum Uptown) to find selected public artworks, or you can use clues to just find the pieces that intrigue you. Scavenger hunt brochures will be available from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the McColl Center or can be downloaded here.
Participants are asked to take creative picture of the public artworks they discover during the scavenger hunt and email them to ASC at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or to share them with ASC via social media: on Facebook at Facebook.com/ASCCharlotte; via Twitter @ASCCharlotte #PublicArtCLT; or on Instagram @ASCCharlotte.
If you already have plans this weekend, no worries. Download the scavenger hunt brochure and do as much or as little of the hunt as you want on your schedule.
Once you have a solid grasp on the public art uptown has to offer, or if you want to learn more about how public art is integrated into a community like Charlotte-Mecklenburg, stick around for the free Public Art Lecture by Phoenix Public Art Program Director Ed Lebow, who will lead a discussion of national public art issues and topics.
Lebow’s lecture will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the McColl Center for Visual Arts Innovation Institute, across the street from the McColl Center. There will also be a question-and-answer segment following his presentation.
Whether you choose to do one or both events, remember to celebrate public art this weekend. After all, it belongs to you.