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underoak

Branding and public art on Central Avenue

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Hey y'all,

I haven't been here in forever, and apologies. Seeking some ideas for a neighbor who is serving as an adviser for selection of public art along Central Avenue.

Details here.

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In response to the question raised in the blog, no, I don't think a particular international theme is appropriate for the Central Ave. corridor. Charlotte's international neighborhoods are a bit transient, and while there may be large concentrations of Vietmanese and Central Americans currently, the rate at which neighborhoods transform in this corridor will likely result in different ethnicities inhabiting the area in the not-to distant future. In other words, it not like San Francisco or Vancouver's Chinatown, and shouldn't be monumentalized as such.

Instead, art should focus on more generalized themes of nature (Oaks, Streams, ????) or commerce (maybe giant furniture?) There was an effort initiated by the Nichols Company to brand the area (Plaza/Midwood) as a furniture showroom destination. Not sure what happened to that, but if its still alive, it would make sense for the art to play into that theme.

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Thank your for the thoughts.

A Hispanic friend from Chicago sent me a link as well to an article about a (much older, much more historic) neighborhood in Chicago that faced a bit of the same question. It had a Mexican flavor (literally, with great restaurants) but then began gentrifying and priced many of the new immigrants out.

That's a whole different question of course ... gentrifying and affordable housing. But the transience of particular immigrant populations is an important point. Maybe the green theme could be a little more permanent.

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