Thursday, July 15, 2010

Winston-Salem gets artsy on its interstate

Cheers to our fellow N.C. cities, Wintson-Salem and Greensboro. Each won a six-figure grant from the Mayor's Institute on City Design.

The most exciting project is the one in Winston-Salem, which received $200,000. The Arts Council of Winston-Salem created a coalition among the N.C. Department of Transportation, the city, and the Chamber of Commerce to make sure urban designers and artists have a role in the NCDOT replacement of 11 bridges along Business I-40. The goal: Assemble artists and urban designers to create a master plan that provides guidelines for design, lighting, sound walls, and bridge abutments, as well as water features, public art, and festival space adjacent to the rights-of-way.

It would be great if Charlotte's Center City 2020 Vision Plan came up with a similar coalition, and went after similar money.

Greensboro's $100,000 grant to this project. The grant foes to Action Greensboro, a not-for-profit organization in the N.C. Piedmont that coordinates citizen initiatives on enhancing the Greensboro. Action Greensboro is funding public art for a renovation of an abandoned railroad. The art will include 12 decorative iron , through which will be seen two 60-foot graphic panels depicting parts of Greensboro's history.

The greenway encircling downtown Greensboro sounds like some Charlotte plans (remember the uptown loop greenway from the 2010 Uptown Plan, or the John Nolen greenway plan from early in the 20th century?) – as yet unfinished. Note the photo with the Greensboro plan, shows work by artist Jim Gallucci. Want to see some of his work in Charlotte? Visit the bridge over Briar Creek on Central Avenue.