There are several special features that have been commissioned to either mark an area of historical significance or to take advantage of a particular opportunity.
From its earliest planning stages, Downtown 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. These art installations 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. An artist chosen specifically for the commission will meet with neighborhood residents to gain a full understanding of the significance of each particular site before beginning their creative endeavors.
Artist Thomas Sayre presented his proposal at an online Public Meeting on May 5, 2020 for the project to be installed on Phase 4 along the rail-line on the Downtown Greenway. The art installation was made possible by: The Cemala Foundation, City of Greensboro Water Resources Department, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Watch the online presentation here.
Installation of the project was completed in early 2021. Click here to watch the video of part of the installation. The project was officially opened on May 22, 2021 with a Celebration of the completion and beginning of construction on the final mile later this year. Click here to watch the Ribbon Cutting Celebration of Cairn’s Course at WestWoods.
Click here to watch Paul Byun’s video of the creation of Cairn’s Course on the Western Branch of the Downtown Greenway that premiered at the Glow on the Greenway event on September 14, 2021.
Artist Thomas Sayre has been selected to create the project on Phase 4 along the railtrail on the Downtown Greenway. Thomas is a Raleigh-based artist and has constructed works of art all over the world. To create his art, he uses earth and soil from the ground where his sculptures will eventually stand to form earth casts. Click here to watch a segment from UNC-TV on the process that Thomas uses to create his art. A recent article in the Raleigh Magazine talks about Thomas’s famous piece ‘Gyre’.
A North Carolina railroad trestle operated by Norfolk Southern and abandoned since the mid-1970s has been transformed into a gallery of gates by Sculptor Jim Gallucci, with interactive lighting effects designed by Scott Richardson of Light Defines Form.
Funded in part through a Mayor’s Institute on City Design’s 25th Anniversary Initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, this project has two major components. First, the iron gates designed by Gallucci were inspired by decorative details on the art deco-style Southern Bell Building built on nearby Eugene Street around the same time as the underpass. The other component comprises interactive and colorful lighting created by Richardson to both illuminate the passageway and enhance security. The lighting provides a unique and ever-changing experience, while encouraging movement through the underpass.
Bridging the Gap
Primary Flight, a Miami based street art collective was commissioned in 2011 to design and painted the artistic treatment on the each of the 7 large-scale concrete bridge supports at the trailhead parking area at Spring Garden Street and Edgeworth Streets, creating ColorHaus.
In 2019, NCDOT determined that repairs were needed to the bridge supports at the trailhead parking area at Morehead Park at Spring Garden and Edgeworth Streets and work began to make those extensive repairs. Unfortunately, the original paint design on the bridge supports that was created by Primary Flight in 2012 was removed as part of that process.
A call to artists was issued in the fall 2020 and local artist Darlene McClinton was selected to create the design and re-paint the bridge supports. Darlene formed a team of local artists that helped her add new life to the bridge supports and named the project Bridging the Gap. The project was completed in December. Click here to watch a 1 minute video of Darlene and her creative team transform the bridge supports and here to watch the longer video.
Backflow Preventer Covers
Local artist Laura Lashley has added her artistic touch to the 3 Downtown Greenway Cornerstones at Woven Works Park, Meeting Place at Tradition Cornerstone, and Morehead Park by painting the backflow preventer covers. Stop by and check them out!
Laura Lashley was born in Winston-Salem in 1972. After college at UNC Charlotte, she returned to her hometown in 1995 and soon after joined the Seed Collective and started making Artomat art.
Mandalas are a recurring image that Lashley paints. The centers are often stylized seeds that burst out into shapes that emerge organically. The colors are often inspired by what is growing in the garden or by the season. The organic, free-flowing pattern paintings are more spontaneous and free. Both styles explore the relationship between color and shape. The goal is for them to have a life of their own- whether it be vibrating energy and movement or a relaxing calming of the senses. And sometimes she paints and draws little animal characters and their environments of fanciful flowers and trees.
Laura received an award in June 2016 by the Community Appearance Commission of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County for her “contribution to the betterment of community appearance.” You can find her public work downtown, in West Salem, and on the South Side where she lives. (Also at PTI Airport!).
When Laura isn’t painting she spends her time gardening, hiking with her husband Spencer and dog Early (and other hiking pals), or catering to her two adorable cats GG and Samba.
Modern Love: Celebrating Greensboro’s African American Modernist Architects
Artist Sharon Dowell created 9 organically shaped aluminum panels that are affixed to the northeast wall of the Summit Avenue underpass along Murrow Blvd. The panels can be removed for bridge inspections and repair. The panels are painted with imagery from old redlining maps superimposed with modernist architecture from African American architects (Willie Edward “Blue” Jenkins, Gerard E. Gray, and William Alfred Streat, Jr.) who were working in Greensboro mid-century. These panels are tied together with a turquoise ribbon. Local artist Darlene McClinton takes this color and the shape of the panels as a companion piece on the southwest wall of the underpass. Click here to view a video of the completed art on Sharon Dowell’s Instagram page.