In the News

Get the Scoop on the Railroad Underpass Public Art Project

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In a series of public meetings held on January 25, 2011, sculptor Jim Gallucci and lighting designer Scott Richardson presented concepts for their vision of transforming an abandoned railroad underpass sited on the Downtown Greenway between West Lee Street and Spring Garden Road into a public art space. The concept is exciting, and we can't wait to see it completed!  

Preliminary Design Proposals Community Meeting: Railroad Underpass Public Art Project

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The Downtown Greenway will host a public meeting on Tuesday, January 25 from 12:00–2:00 pm and 5:00–7:00 pm to view preliminary design proposals for the railroad underpass public art project. Join us on Tuesday at the action Greensboro offices (317 South Elm Street, Downtown Greensboro).  On-street parking is available as well as in the parking lot across the street.  Both Jim Gallucci and Scott Richardson will present and discuss their proposal for The Downtown Greenway Railroad Underpass Public Art Collaboration, a public art project that involves the creative renovation of an abandoned underpass located between Spring Garden and Lee Streets along Freeman Mill Road. Click here for more information. 

Call to Artists

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The Downtown Greenway seeks proposals for the second of 12 neighborhood benches to be commissioned for the Downtown Greenway.  The newest bench will be located in the Phase 1A section of the Greenway, which runs between West Lee and Spring Garden Streets along the east side of Freeman Mill Road in the southwest section of Downtown Greensboro.

Community Meeting: Downtown Greenway Railroad Underpass Public Art Collaboration

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Did you miss the October 27 Public Input Meeting for the Downtown Greenway Railroad Underpass Public Art Collaboration?  The public input period closed on November 5, and we are now collecting input to share with the artists so they can begin design work.  Stay tuned for more information. Community Meeting to be held October 27 to Gather Public Input for Downtown Greenway Railroad Underpass Public Art Collaboration Sculptor Jim Gallucci and Lighting Designer Scott Richardson will meet with residents to discuss this public art project funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts A $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts has made possible the creative renovation of an abandoned railroad underpass that will be a key link between the recently completed first phase of the Downtown Greenway and the next section to be constructed of the 4-mile Greenway that will eventually encircle downtown Greensboro. This artistic collaboration will include innovative lighting, sculpture, graphics, and landscaping to create a unique outdoor public art space.  You are invited to attend a community meeting on October 27, 2010 from 12:00–2:00 pm or 5:00–7:00 pm at the Carriage House at Blandwood Mansion to learn about the project and give your input to the project artists. Click here to see the meeting flyer.

Win a FREE Trek Bike & Suppport the Downtown Greenway!

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Greensboro Trek Bike Shop has generously donated a Trek 3500 bicycle to raffle off in support of the Downtown Greenway!  All raffle proceeds benefit the Downtown Greenway Endowment Fund.  Tickets are $5 each or $20 for 5 tickets.  Tickets will be on sale until the Phase 1A Groundbreaking at the Greensboro Trek Bike Store located at 1209 Battleground Avenue.  The bike will be raffled off at the Downtown Greenway Phase 1A Groundbreaking this Spring.  We hope you’ll attend the Groundbreaking, but you do not have to be present to win.  Go check out their store and buy your tickets today!

Dedication of “Grounded Here”

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Artist Juan Logan will return to Greensboro for the dedication of Grounded Here, his public artwork commemorating the historically significant location of Ashe Street on Sunday, September 19, 2010, from 2:00–3:00 pm at the sculpture site, which is located in the Warnersville neighborhood along the Downtown Greenway.  The community is invited to join Juan and Warnersville residents  for a dedication ceremony and celebration with refreshments.  Funding for this Ashe Street public artwork has been made possible through a grant from American Express Corporation and an anonymous donation. Juan Logan is an internationally recognized artist from Durham, NC, and a professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  With input from the Warnersville community, Juan has created Grounded Here, in recognition of Ashe Street, which was at one time the vibrant commercial and social hub of Warnersville. Ashe Street was the first organized African-American community in the city of Greensboro, founded by ex-slaves in 1867 two years after the close of the Civil War on land deeded to them by Yardley Warner, a Quaker from Pennsylvania.  Over the years, the neighborhood flourished into a thriving community—a place where churches and schools formed its hub, and where well-established, black-owned businesses prospered.  Urban renewal programs effectively wiped out the commercial district located on Ashe Street.  With input from current residents of Warnersville, many of whom are descendents of the original settling  families, the public artwork created by Logan reflects both the unique and important history of the site. Born in 1946 in Nashville, Tennessee, Juan Logan was raised in North Carolina and is currently a professor in the Department of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has shown extensively both nationally and internationally, and his work is included in numerous public, corporate, and private collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Memphis Brooks Museum, the Zimmerli Museum of Art, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.  The thought-provoking imagery of Juan Logan often deals with the many layers of the African-American experience.  His work asks us to look closely, to go beyond the surface, and to, as one art historian put it, “reveal what we avoid when we blink.” Although born in the South, Logan’s artwork address subjects relevant to the American experience as a whole.  At once abstract and representational, his paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, and videos address the interconnections of race, place, and power, as well as his ability to tell powerful visual stories in a variety of mediums. He is truly an artist whose vision is uniquely appropriate for this Ashe Street project. From its earliest planning stages, Greenway coordinators determined that visually appealing public art of various types and scale would be an important feature of the Greenway.  Upon its completion the Greenway will wind its way through several neighborhoods, each with its own unique history and story to tell.  Public art—paid for through a combination of grants, private donations, and corporate funding—will be scattered along the Greenway, and will help tell the story of these neighborhoods and our city.  As the Greenway travels through distinct neighborhoods, historic sites such as Ashe Street have been identified, and an artist chosen specifically for the commission. The artist will meet with neighborhood residents to gain a full understanding of the significance of each site before beginning creative work.  Juan Logan’s piece is one of the first installations of public art commissioned to commemorate a designated area of historic significance along the Greenway.  In addition, functional site pieces such as bike racks and signage, will be designed to make them both useful and visually appealing.  The installation of four major, large-scale public artworks, along with historically significant, site-specific artwork and site pieces that are both artistic and functional, will enhance the visual quality and beauty of both the Greenway and Greensboro itself.  

Downtown Greenway Featured on NEA Blog

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Read about the Downtown Greenway on the National Endowment for the Arts blog.  Click here to see the blog entry! In July 2010, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded the Greenway a grant of $100,000 as a part of its Mayor's Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative. From more than 200 applicants from across the country, the Greensboro Downtown Greenway project was selected as one of 21 grants totaling $3 million. The grant will support the restoration of an abandoned railroad underpass in a section of the Greenway to be known as Morehead Linear Park.  This phase, to be constructed beginning this fall, starts at West Lee Street and the Freeman Mill Road ramp and runs north along Freeman Mill Road to Spring Garden Street. The underpass formerly served both vehicular and pedestrian traffic from both Spring Street and Cedar Street as they merged to allow for passage beneath the North Carolina Railroad tracks that run east-west along the southern end of downtown Greensboro.  The construction of Freeman Mill Road in the mid 1970s redirected traffic, and the underpass was abandoned.  The heavily wooded site was rediscovered in early 2001 as concept plans for the Greenway were first being considered. The restoration project includes the addition of 12 decorative iron gates to be designed and fabricated by local artist Jim Gallucci and placed in existing doorways along the underpass, through which will be seen two 60-foot graphic panels depicting parts of Greensboro's history.  Cooper Carry Center for Connective Architecture, who has been involved in the project from its early conception, will oversee the design and fabrication of the panels.  In addition, innovative and artistic lighting will illuminate the entire area to be designed by local artist Scott Richardson with Light Defines Form.

City Council Member Robbie Perkins to Run 4 The Greenway

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Time is running out to pre-register for Saturday’s inaugural Run 4 the Downtown Greenway.  More than 200 runners, including Greensboro City Council Member at-large Robbie Perkins, have pre-registered for the event, which will include an 8K and 1-Mile Walk/Run. “The Downtown Greenway is an important part of transportation and wellness in Greensboro.  Once complete, it will be a transportation link for the City and help spur economic development for the downtown area,” said Perkins.  “I can’t wait until I’m 60 years old and can run and bike the entire loop.” Perkins is a graduate of Duke University and holds two track and field records in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter events.  He declared his intent earlier this week to compete in the race to support the Greenway. The Run 4 the Greenway 8K and 1-Mile Walk/Run will begin at 5:30 pm and 5:00 pm respectively in Center City Park.  The 8K, nearly a five-mile course, will feature an urban loop following the Greenway detour route and through the first constructed phase of the Greenway.  An after party in Center City Park will include children’s activities, live music, and food for all. Online pre-race registration will remain open until noon on Thursday, September 9.  Registration for the 8K is $30 and $15 for the 1-Mile Walk/Run, with free registration for children 12 and under.  All proceeds benefit the Maintenance Endowment Fund for the Greenway. Runners pre-registered for Saturday’s event can pick up their race packets at Premier Commercial Bank (701 Green Valley Road, Suite 102, Lake Point Building) on Friday, September 10 from 11 am–6 pm.

Volunteers Needed for Run 4 The Greenway!

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If you are not running in the race, many volunteers are needed to help on the day of the race.  There are many different jobs during the race—something for every age and skill level.  Please pitch in and show your support!  There is something for everyone! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Judy Morton  by email or phone 336.379.0821 at Action Greensboro.