Public Art, Charlotte
This type of artwork is like something you would find on the U.S. Capitol dome. What stands out is this guy in a business suit among everyone else in ancient garb. That gentleman in a suit is Hugh McColl, who recently retired as head of Bank of America, one of Charlotte's largest employers. He may "big man in Charlotte", but he is said to be very personable and well-liked. He eats and drinks at restaurants frequented by his employees and sometimes socialises with them. It goes to show that one can make it big in the world without becoming a snob.
"Continuum" by Ben Long in the entryway to the Transamerica building invites you to stare and try to figure out what the artist is trying to say. Let me know if you figure it out. It has something to do with the endless cycle of life and death.
The intersection of Trade Street and North Tryon is the center point of Charlotte and each corner is graced with a statue by Raymond Kaskey. The following is excerpted from charlottecentercity.org:
"The statues are titled "Transportation," "Future," "Commerce," and "Industry." Transportation is represented by a railroad worker holding a hammer in his hand. The figure of a woman holding a child represents the Future of the city. Commerce is symbolized by a gold miner spilling money on the head of a banker. The face of the banker is modeled after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Industry is represented by a woman in a bonnet, symbolizing the mills and early industry of the area. The child peeking from her skirt suggests past child labor."
Step into the lobby of the Bank of America Tower (the tallest building in Uptown) and take a look at the frescoes by noted artist, Ben Long. His work is all over the city in churches and in public spaces.
I used to work in the Bank of America Plaza building and every day I'd walk by this giant copper disk and wonder to myself, "What the heck is that?" I still don't know, but it's an interesting piece of art.
Since 1964, Festival in the Park has been bringing good music, good art, and good times to Charlotteans and visitors from around the world. The sounds of "big band music" drift across Freedom Park's lake whose still surface reflects the lights strung from Camelot exhibit tents.
The scents of a variety of food fill the air, as small children with painted faces happily produce their first art work. Others find the many talented artists who can create an original work of art to grace their home or to give as the perfect gift.
This fun filled event is designed to promote and stimulate interest in the arts. It provides the opportunity for all to see, hear, and learn from over 150 artists and crafts people who actively demonstrate and display their art.
Usually held the fourth weekend in September, Friday-Sunday.
Thanks to the Charlotte Arts and Science Council’s (ASC) Public Art Walking Tour, residents and visitors alike can take advantage of a free, specially developed nine block walking tour of Charlotte’s Uptown featuring twenty-three art-works by eighteen different artists. A detailed map and custom developed podcast featuring extensive artwork descriptions and narrative are available for download at the ASC website:
It was developed as a creative way to address the growth and ever changing landscape of public art in our city. “The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority tells us that our printed walking tour of public art in Uptown is one of the most popular brochures that visitors take,” said Jean Greer, coordinator of the ASC’s Public Art program, “We believe a downloadable podcast along with a map is a great way for us to go “green” and more easily update information and provide better access.” With both indoor and outdoor venues the tour features sculpture, paintings, and a variety of mixed media pieces. Through the tour, participants will learn some fascinating back stories behind many of the pieces and Charlotte’s history.
Queen Charlotte was the wife of King George III. The city of Charlotte is named after her and from where it gets its nickname of the queen city.
Uptown is constantly changing and new works of art are popping up all over. This statue of Queen Charlotte at the intersection of College and Trade is new as of 2003.
The Green is a park in Uptown Charlotte that has a literary theme. This sculpture is representative of some of the great works of literature. Among which is "Don Quijote" by Cervantes.
At the side of the park closest to the church, you will not only see the pictured sculpture, but you will also get an audio surprise if you listen closely enough.
At the intersection of Trade and Tryon are 4 statues. Starting in the northeast and going clockwise, one sees the statues of commerce, future (mother and child), transportation, and industry.