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ELIZABETH NEIGHBORHOOD PUBLIC ART PROJECT Artists: Amy Bagwell & Graham Carew (co-directors, Wall Poems of Charlotte) Chief Collaborators: Elizabeth Community.

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Presentation on theme: "ELIZABETH NEIGHBORHOOD PUBLIC ART PROJECT Artists: Amy Bagwell & Graham Carew (co-directors, Wall Poems of Charlotte) Chief Collaborators: Elizabeth Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 ELIZABETH NEIGHBORHOOD PUBLIC ART PROJECT Artists: Amy Bagwell & Graham Carew (co-directors, Wall Poems of Charlotte) Chief Collaborators: Elizabeth Community Association, Southern Canopies, & CPCC Construction, Welding, & Photovoltaic Programs

2 Inspiration: History & Themes

3 A women’s college known for its conservatory The childhood home of the leader of the most popular “sweet” big band of the 1930s AND, recently, a jazz- themed b&b, each room dedicated to a different female jazz singer music

4 A gorgeous rose garden in the park that hints at the 4,700 bushes once grown here roses

5 Slave Cemetery Independence Park Hawthorne Lane at E. 7th. Charlotte, NC Location Notes: This cemetery reportedly was used only prior to the Civil War and was not known by many of Charlotte's residents at the time of the newspaper article, due to the overgrown condition. E. L. Mason, who lived in the Charlotte area for 30 years, was shown the gravesite by Jack Myers in 1908. Mason, who was once chairman of the city's park system, wanted to drain this area and turn it into a park. The area, once a Charlotte reservoir for water, was no longer needed. The plan was to haul in dirt to fill up the reservoir, covering the graves. Condition: Destroyed haunting

6 A reflecting pool in the park, which was once under water, by a monument to a heroic act water

7 (and this)

8 trees

9 Elizabeth was once home to a large number of traveling salesmen. and this

10 Concept: Traces

11 At our first neighborhood meeting, the neighbors and business owners emphasized their desires for art that would: ●be in multiple pieces ●pull pedestrians through the neighborhood ●avoid the monument or gateway approach ●be different from what one finds elsewhere ●echo the neighborhood’s creativity and character and natural beauty ●reflect the area’s history, though not be a literal depiction of it ●provide surprises for viewers ●be challenging ●include temporary and permanent components ●contain repeated images to connect the pieces and delight viewers

12 We developed a three-part, poem-based installation concept built around the theme of traces, drawing a line through what was here and what is here. The poem, which Amy wrote for this project, is part of a story that might’ve happened here, or that might still happen here.

13 Now is Fireworks Look at me. Now is fireworks, gathered first like Queen Anne’s lace into fists called just before, then bursting absolutely. After, are you hawk or songbird? Or climbing rose, with colors that unfold as slow as fondness? What I mean to ask is where are you going on a night like this, the water so still you could walk on top of it if you whispered? You remember your grandparents like they just left the room, but you forget so much. And does your suitcase, when you’ve arrived and told it now, pop its mousetrap latch and burst into a brown motelroom with a brown couch you lie on to watch stars that are not fireworks through a halfcurtained window? Sing your answer, your voice a warfield for sleep and strain. Or, from your granddad’s records (more ghostly with each listen, like everything), play the perfect lady singer’s lamentation like a hand grabbing for the falling, like the buried and forgotten, like a train’s long, wavering horn. Or, because all the sorry eyes in the world won’t get you back to this water, take me there with you. I’ll ride quiet. At the latch’s snap, my cue, I’ll leap from that travelbag like happiness from a cake done in none of nature’s colors— except those pale pink sugar roses over my wish for you, under your name.

14 Part 1: Fence Scene (semi-permanent)


16 Fence Scene. 6-10 images designed by the artists printed on exterior, adhesive vinyl (lasts at least three years) attached to the inner faces of the fence railings for lenticular effect Each image will come together at the correct angle, disappearing as the viewer’s angle changes and the next image becomes clear, propelling the viewer along the scene.

17 Fence Scene (contd.) These images: come from the poem are related tie to the other components of the project We will experiment with text on the rails as well, specifically the phrase “Look at me” from the poem’s first line, a meta-statement on public art and ideal announcer of this point of entry for the installation.


19 Part 2: Wordhouses (temporary)


21 Wordhouses. We will pull people through the neighborhood with: 35 lightweight (<5 pounds), shallow box-like assemblages 12” x 18” x 6” (lwh) designed and constructed by the artists one line of the poem in each images and even objects in them (securely) as well open on the front - no glass or plexiglass

22 Wordhouses (contd.) suspended at eye level from branches of city trees (crepe myrtle and dogwood) between sidewalk and road facing the sidewalk streetside backs of boxes will be uniform blue color numbered on the bottom and mapped on-line expanding cording will not harm the tree branches

23 Wordhouses (contd.) similar in aesthetic and focus to Amy’s poem-centered assemblages


25 Part 3: The Roundabout (permanent)


27 The Roundabout. This piece is round and steel, and it glows gently in the evening. Text will be cut from the metal (three words - Now is Fireworks, the poem's title and a carpe diem statement on its own) with images on, cut from, or polished into the metal. We will: remove the large bushes (Southern Canopies will handle this) construct a permanent, round metal piece lit from within charge batteries to power the lights via solar panel in the treetop plant 4 – 8 rose bushes or low growing bushes at the long ends of the Roundabout after installation

28 The Roundabout (contd.) Specifics: created in collaboration with CPCC's Construction, Electrical Systems, and Welding programs 10 ft. diameter round, flat metal structure 12-gauge (1/8" thick) stainless steel welded internally to 7 stainless steel rods (1/4" inch thick) secured by shallow concrete-anchored footings one 3 ft. panel bolted (vs. welded) for CMUD access to manhole 3 ft. h, with 1 ft. w rim to prevent climbing/sitting lit by low-wattage LED bulbs on four fixtures at the tree base powered by two batteries in a protective, custom, locked metal box charged by solar panel at treetop on a stainless steel pole

29 The Roundabout (contd.) Specifics: CPCC faculty Philip Briggs (photovoltaic), Steve Corriher (construction), Steve Gore (welding), and Tony Hayes (construction) are donating personal and classroom time, expertise, equipment, transportation of equipment, and some material for this project, the values of which will be calculated as we proceed. Southern Canopies (Matt Hansen, arborist) will remove the bushes and oversee sinking of the shallow footings in order to prevent tree root damage.


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