Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Art, Avett Brothers and "Freemore West"

A quick update on last week's posting about the arts grants to Winston-Salem and Greensboro, "Winston-Salem gets artsy on its interstate." I wondered whether Charlotte had tried for any similar arts grants. I heard back from Robert Bush at the Arts & Science Council: "ASC applied to the NEA but didn’t make the cut."

He said the UNCC School of Art & Architecture was a partner along with Charlotte Center City Partners in the application. "Our application," Bush said in an e-mail, "was to support the Cultural Action Plan that we will be launching and specifically to support an international design competition for the Main Library/Spirit Square Block and the block immediately north on Tryon as a mixed use redevelopment project focused on innovation and creativity. "

Another public art tidbit: I'm just back from a couple of days of student/parent orientation at the University of Tar Heel, and I noticed on the wall in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union building, some clay disks that had a familiar look to them. Sure nuff, they're the work of Raleigh-based and UNC-educated artist Thomas Sayre, whose red-clay-colored disks on South Boulevard ("Furrow") have drawn plenty of attention (a lot of it negative). He's also the artist who crafted the so-called Onion Rings ("Grandiflora") at Wendover and Randolph, a work I have confessed to feeling fond of.

The Gaston Gazette tells us that the Gaston Parkway is likely to be delayed until 2015, because so many roads projects in the area are keeping contractors too busy to work on the parkway, too. Hmmm.

And a press release from the city of Charlotte's Neighborhood and business Services Department, about a celebration 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday at Wesley Village apartments (2715 Wet Stone Way, Charlotte, NC 28208), tells me that part o town has been "newly named and branded" as "Freemore West."

And if you're with me this far, here's a link to a cool video that NPR has posted to go with the Avett Brothers' Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise." It features an animated painting by Jason Ryan Mitcham. "The video shows the rise, fall and inevitable decay of rampant urban development," says NPR. Let's just say it's an artist's view, not a planner's.


John said...


Many people have pointed out the Thomas Sayre scam of creating the same work over and over (yet pitching it as a different "vision" to the crowd of suckers he was selling it to). Too bad you're never listening.

Here's one example:

"The legume-like stack of black concrete circles he created for Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta is supposed to represent "the mystery of night," Sayre says. Hundreds of miles away in St. Petersburg, Florida, a similar stack of circles by Sayre sits outside a fire station. Sayre claims that the sculpture, for which the St. Petersburg Public Art Commission paid $50,000, represents "the historical architectural element of a fire station hose tower." Outside a public building in Raleigh, a group of 24 skinnier cucumbers built from circles juts out of the ground. These, says Sayre, represent North Carolina's 24 largest cities. But again, it's basically the same piece over and over again, with a different intellectual explanation by the artist for what it means."

Jumper said...

It's not a "scam" if you like his work. I do.

Here is some new public art,0,6741100,full.story

John said...

If you like his work, then YOU pay for it.

And it's pretty obvious to anyone who fogs a mirror (you might want to test yourself) that telling Atlanta one thing and St. Pete another and Raleigh a third, all in relation to the SAME THING, is 100% absolutely a SCAM.

Let us know how that mirror fogging test goes.