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 on-line Public Meeting on May 5 for the West Woods Project to be installed on Phase 4 along the rail-line on the Downtown Greenway. Watch the on-line presentation here. Installation anticipated in early 2021. Read the story in the News & Record by reported Dawn Kane. Click here to view Thomas Sayre’s proposal. If you have any comments or suggestions about the plans, please email Laura Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Thomas Sayre has been selected to create the West Woods Project on Phase 4 along the railtrail on the Downtown Greenway. Thomas is a Raleigh-based artist and architect 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’.
Triangle Residents share their ‘new normal’ with the News & Observer, including Thomas Sayre. Click here to see how he is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roots First, a Winston-Salem based team that “repairs the connection between people and nature through design and communication” is working with us on a project along Smith Street called Northern Passage that will be installed summer 2020.
Juan Logan’s piece Grounded Here is one of the first installations of public art commissioned to commemorate a designated area of historic significance along the Greenway. Grounded Here originally located at the trailhead parking area at Five Points at Eugene and Lee, has been to moved to it’s new home at the new Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club located on the old JC Price School Property off Freeman Mill Road.
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. The community was founded by former 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 were able to prosper. Urban renewal programs effectively wiped out the commercial district located on Ashe Street. With the help of input from current residents of Warnersville, many of whom are descendents of the original families who settled there, the public artwork created by Mr. Logan reflects 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 his work 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, among others. 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 to, as one art historian put it, “reveal what we avoid when we blink.”
Although born in the South, Logan’s artworks 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. His ability to tell powerful visual stories in a variety of mediums makes him an artist whose vision is uniquely appropriate for this Ashe Street project.
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.
Note about ColorHaus and Call to Artists:
Repairs to the bridge supports were made overhead at the Morehead Park trailhead parking area on the Downtown Greenway along Spring Garden Street in 2019 and early 2020. Unfortunately all of the paint design on the bridge supports was removed as a part of that process. The Greenway Public Art Selection Panel has issued a call to artists to commission a replacement for this work. Click here for how to submit a proposal.
Submissions will be due on September 10, 2020.
Greenway Art Selection Panel members, with input from Elsewhere Collaborative, a local arts group, identified an opportunity to create a public art project at the highly visible northern end of the Morehead Park where trailhead parking was installed. Primary Flight, a Miami-based street art collective, was chosen to design and paint colorful murals on each of seven large-scale concrete support structures at the Spring Garden Street underpass. The new murals cover the concrete support structures that support the highway above on Freeman Mill Road with bright lines and colors inspired by a Bauhaus building in Greensboro and the “movement” theme for this section of the trail. Click here to read the New York Times article about the inspiration for ColorHaus. that was in honor of Walter Gropius’s work on his first building in Greensboro who was the founder of the German design school Bauhaus.
Primary Flight explores and promotes aesthetic expression from established and emerging artists, delivering a bold, urban sensibility to underutilized areas. Their art transforms communities by educating, informing, and enlightening through the creation of outdoor museums. Their three-week installation, from April 18 through May 9, 2012, included a public invitation to participate in the creation of part of their work at the May 6 opening of Morehead Park. Click here for Primary Flight’s proposal.
Commissioned by the NC Arts Council, the mural adds a significant contemporary work to Greensboro’s public art landscape and has beautified the trailhead parking area for trailgoers and drivers alike.
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.