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.
Cairn’s Course at WestWoods
Artist Thomas Sayre presented his proposal at an on-line Public Meeting on May 5, 2020 for the WestWoods Project to be installed on Phase 4 along the rail-line on the Downtown Greenway. The art installation made possible by: The Cemala Foundation, City of Greensboro Water Resources Department, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Watch the on-line 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 West Woods 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.
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.
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.