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voyager12

Public Art in Charlotte

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When Chicago placed differently painted cows all over the city it was a big success, got national press,and was fun to see. I visited then and they were a nice addition to the urban landscape. The idea was replicated on a smaller scale across the country. Historic Beaufort, SC had cows downtown along Bay St and it was a hit. Scattered public art can do so much for a city. Charlotte can do more than the Onion Rings at Randolph and Wendover :lol: How about Piggybanks to play off of Charlotte's financial fame and in keeping with the animal theme. Depending on the area they could be painted in a suit for Uptown, hipsterish for Noda/Plaza-Midwood, stock car colors for Concord. An SUV pig for Ballanytne? :P I think it could work :thumbsup:

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Every city did that thing for a while. Charlotte's thing was rocking chairs. I'm not sure if we still do that.

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I don't know if a pig in a suit promotes a good image or not. :)

I like the warp speed engine at the BOA Plaza.

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Rocking chairs?.Well the fad may be over, but I still think having art throughout the city at high traffic locations would be a great thing.

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Race Engines might be kind of cool.

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Haha yeah the piggybanks would be fun to see around town. Maybe we could make "wishing piggybanks" and have another way to get money from tourists...haha.

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Seriously, regarding the entire issue of public art in Charlotte, if memory serves me correctly... CATs proposed a series of abstract sculptures along the South Blvd Line stations last year to the City. A wonderful idea in my opinion that would add to the entire commuting experience. Our all knowing Mayor did not find them boring or conservative enough and ridiculed the idea. :rolleyes: The only art he would allow would be from the Bible store in Concord Mills. Nothing remotely cutting edge or interesting is allowed in Pat's Charlotte. I think an independent effort to place more art or murals in willing locations would be worth looking into.

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Those are nice pics, thanks! I moved here a year and a half ago so my point of reference is shorter. We need more on a permanent basis. Pigs on Parade still sounds catchy to me :lol: Its been a few years, it would be a change.

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Well maybe Piggly Wiggly will come to town. When you were in Charleston you might have noticed that one of the marvelous homes on The Battery had two stone pigs on either side of the front stairs. This marked the house of the owner of The Pigs in SC.

Here, we used to have the Dixie Pig BBQ. Sadly it is gone now.

MrPigSteppin_AN.gif

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I did notice that house Metro. It was one of my favorites to walk by when I lived there. I suppose if my pie in the sky idea ever came to fruition, Piggly Wiggly would have copyright issues,hence, the piggybank twist :P Another great Charleston landmark is the revolving Coburg Cow along Savannah Highway. It was designated a local landmark a few years ago to prevent teardown. I love it :yahoo:

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Have you taken the public art walking tour of uptown v12. I personally don't think Charlotte lags behind too many cities in the public art sector. More is always better of course but, comparitivly I think we stack up pretty well in this department. Of course not all of the public art is on the tour but you can check out some of it.

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Haha yeah the piggybanks would be fun to see around town. Maybe we could make "wishing piggybanks" and have another way to get money from tourists...haha.

That is actually one of the best ideas I've heard. Of course the construction of the pigs should make it apparant to would be crooks that it can't be robbed.

Who says art doesn't pay.

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Thank you Atlvr :D You have true vision and great artistic wisdom in agreeing with me :P I have never taken an official tour apppatone but have seen most of what you listed. They are nice. Many are very institutional looking and hidden away though. Placing interesting objects in high traffic locations would be an improvement. It may happen organically in Uptown. As it becomes more residential, new residents will hopefully want their neighborhood to look more like a hometown and less cold and gray. There are so many great opportunities and areas to experiment in Charlotte. If we can erect the Onion Rings other objects should be possible :lol: It was fun working on these types projects in Charleston and back in Beaufort County before that. The Piggybanks could double as receptacles for various charities which could be a way of garnering support for sponsorship construction. I am heading to Charleston this morning for Spoleto Arts Festival so I guess that is what got my mind rolling on this subject. I plan on pigging out on culture and food :rofl:

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If you are in the University are there are a few pieces of art that most don't know about. If you go to the lobby of what was the former IBM R&D and Manufacturing plant off Harris Blvd, you will see an outdoor sculpture called "Hovering". IBM spent a fortune on it when they built the place in the early 80s. It resembles a floating mobius strip.

A similar type of outdoor modern art exists at UNCC. This piece of art was very controversial as the state spend more 3/4 million dollars on it in today's money and it was originally placed at the main entrance on Hwy 49. It consists of a bunch of large rectangles painted yellow connected at different points. I understand that it is still at the school, but UNCC has moved it to a wooded area, (out of sight out of mind) so you will have to look around for it.

There is a new bronze bird of prey sculture at the entrance to the Carolina Raptor Center at Latta Plantation.

Most people would not consider this art, but Big Daddy's seafood restaurant at Lake Norman has a race car coming out of the roof. Even if you don't consider it art, you can eat some of the very good seafood there. It's a bit more upscale than the typical fishcamp, but they are not stuffy about it. Big Daddy's can be found on the part of Hwy 150 that crosses the lake in its midpoint. If you go there, a trip to Queens Landing is also worth it.

Of course the Gande Disco right at the square in Charlotte is a big piece of Itallian designed modern art that has been there since the early 70s. There are two of these in the world with its twin being in Italy. Not known by recent inhabitants is that when it was originally installed it was balanced so well the breazes could turn it causing it to become living modern art. Unfortunately Americans like to sue so NCNB later put a brake on it to keep it from turning like that as they feared it might knock someone down.

There is some human scaled tiled art near the intersection of The Plaza and Central. (there are some photos posted of it here somewhere) This is at the location for the former XXX Plaza ######cat movie theatre.

For years Charlotte Pipe & Foundry constructed some outdoor art right on Graham St. made from their pipes. I am not sure if it is still there as they have moved further out of Charlotte. In the same token there was a large suit of Armor standing on top of a building on Atando (connects Graham to N. Tryon). I believe they took it down last year as that company moved as well.

Some people consider the orange tower on S. Blvd and Scalybark "art". This was the marque for former Queen Park Drive-In Movie that used to sit at that location up until the early 80s. If anything, it is a connection to the past.

Those are some bits of art triviality that I remember for the area.

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This is such a cool suggestion!

Let's not do the race car thing though---to outsiders it might make Charlotte look entirely like "that city with NASCAR". But a few around intersections near the HOF Museum would be nice:)

I think the suggestion about public pigs is soooooooooooooooooo fun!!!

Not only would it signify the huge Charlotte banking industry, it could also be a fun representation of fabulous Carolina bar-b-que!!!

Could we do 'em in pink?

btw does anyone remember the flashing neon pigs on top of Porky's honky tonk, in the 1980s film Porky's? Now those were some rockin' pigs:)

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Thanks Charlotteman :D I came back from Charleston this morning after attending Spoleto and it just encouraged me to think more about Charlotte's growing art scene. Charleston and Asheville are artsy cities because they are blessed with beautiful natural locations that draw that type of crowd. Charlotte does not have the same nature but as the largest city in the Carolinas we are growing more diverse. "New South" cities have large and thriving Art scenes, look at Atlanta. Public and visible art projects across the metro would encourage more innovation.

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Let me chime in in agreeing that piggy banks on parade would be a fantastic public art venture for Charlotte.

How though, does that suggestion go from being all talk to being a valid idea?

Also, come to think of it... what we really need is a thread where someone takes on the task of showing off Charlotte's public art. I know downtown is packed with it, and a lot of it is extraordinary.

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