Public Art: Percent for Art

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Mar. 26, 2019 - 10:33 am
Vega Metals, Water Droplets, 2012. Located at Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center.

Mission: To create and integrate diverse artworks into Raleigh's landscape in order to establish a vibrant visual environment that provides public places with civic distinction, as well as fostering meaningful connections between people and place.

In 2009, as a result of the passage of a City ordinance setting aside one half of one percent of municipal construction funds for public art, the Raleigh Arts Commission developed the public art program and appointed the Public Art and Design Board to oversee the implementation of public art projects. In 2016, the Percent for Art allocation was increased to one percent. Several projects involving local and national artists are currently in development to integrate public art into select Raleigh sites.

Explore our online database and interactive map.

Image above: Vega Metals, Water Droplets, 2012. Located at Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center.

Artist Calls

We post Artist Calls as projects become available. To stay up to date on calls and other arts news you can also subscribe to the Arts Flash Newsletter.

Biltmore Hills Tennis Center

Biltmore Hills Public Art Concept

Biltmore Hills Park, Raleigh
Artist: DeeDee Morrison

The Biltmore Tennis Center is a location for diverse audiences that are tennis enthusiasts and is connected to the adjacent baseball field and Biltmore Hills Community Center. The Tennis Center also is the home for Raleigh’s Ebony Racquet Club. Public art at the site will celebrate and educate how athletes of color have impacted history. Completion: 2019

Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center


5908 Buffaloe Road, Raleigh
Artists: Vega Metals - Francis Vega and Neal Carlton (Durham, NC)

Vega Metals created Water Droplets, working closely with the project team to design artwork that would enable visitors to reflect on the natural beauty of Buffaloe Road Athletic Park, recognize the creative spirit of the architecture, and engage visitors at the swimming facility. Water Droplets consists of 15'x10' painted aluminum panels depicting water droplets and their concentric tidal circles that appear to ripple, emphasized via backlighting. Completion: November 2012

Central Communications Center

Andy Dufford public art at Central Communications Center

Artist: Andy Dufford (Denver, CO)

The Central Communications Center houses Emergency Communications, Emergency Operations, Traffic Control and the Data Centers in a 95,000 square foot four-story building designed by Clark Nexsen. The public art enhances the exterior of the building and serves as a strong visual gateway. Equilibrium is a 14-foot-tall stone and steel sculpture comprised of two carved granite forms suspended from flanking concrete pedestals. A light runnel made of patterned perforated aluminum runs along the axis, providing night illumination. The sculpture is located on the plaza and is further complemented by pavers, benches and a tree canopy, all working together to provide levels of comfort, experience, observation and enjoyment. Completion: April 2016 (Photo Copyright Jim Sink Photography)

Central Operations Facility

Communicating Vessels

I-440 at Capital Blvd. and Raleigh Blvd., Raleigh
Artist: Ilan Averbuch (Long Island City, NY)

The Central Operations Facility houses units of Engineering Services, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources and Transportation, including Facilities and Operations, Transportation Field Services, Vehicle Fleet Services and the Traffic Engineering Program. Communicating Vessels is a 17-foot-tall sculpture of four steel tools connected by a floating path of recycled sidewalk granite. Ilan Averbuch was inspired by the united mission of the various departments at the Facility and the services they provide. Completion: May 2015

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

David Benson sculpture, Acorn

East South Street and South Salisbury Street, Raleigh
Artist: Brian Brush (New York, New York)

The intersection of South Salisbury and West South Streets is a busy pedestrian and traffic corridor serving as a main passageway for visitors to Duke Energy Center from restaurants, parking garages and downtown City Plaza. Artwork at the site will serve as a fun gateway feature and take into consideration the David Benson sculpture, Acorn, also located on the plaza. Completion: 2018.

Fire Station 12

Fire Station 12

Poole Road and Bus Way, Raleigh
Artist: Douwe Blumberg (De Mossville, KY)

A cor-ten and stainless steel monolithic sculpture will pay tribute to the strength and leadership of Raleigh’s Fire Department and its mandate to “protect those who cannot protect themselves.” Located in the entryway of the fire station, the 12-foot-tall sculpture’s profile will evoke a fire fighter’s helmet, while the massive roof, suspended mid-air by a complex matrix of stainless steel cables, offers protection. Completion: December 2017.

Halifax Park


1023 Halifax Street, Raleigh
Artist: Chris Fennell (Birmingham, AL)

Chris Fennell uses locally salvaged materials to build large, interactive, site‐specific installations reflecting local history. A whimsical play on basketball, his design for Halifax Park is titled Hoops Playing Hoops. Ranging from five to 16 feet high, five organically shaped, interactive basketball hoops evoke what a child might imagine when the adults leave the playground, with basketball goals growing arms and legs and playing basketball. Completion: December 2014

Learn more about Halifax Park

Hillsborough Street Streetscape Improvements

Hillsborough Streetscape

Hillsborough Street from Gardner Street to Rosemary Street, Raleigh
Artists: David Dahlquist and Justin Platts (Des Moines, IA)

Phase II of the Hillsborough Street Streetscape improvements will implement a "complete streets" design approach to provide better access for vehicle traffic, cyclists and pedestrians. The artists will assist the project design team with art and aesthetic integration for the overall project, including a series of art piers located at each of the three roundabouts. Completion: Summer 2018

Learn more about Hillsborough Street Streetscape Improvements

John Chavis Memorial Park

Chavis Park

505 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Raleigh
Artists: David Wilson (Durham, NC) & Terry Naranjo (New York City)

Artists David Wilson & Terry Naranjo, working in collaboration with Clearscapes Architecture + Art firm have created concept designs for public art as part of the upcoming renovations of John Chavis Memorial Park. The concept designs include art upon a prominent architectural sunshade, decorative glass frit, and benches, all of which share the story of the park and surrounding neighborhood. Completion Spring 2019.

Learn more about John Chavis Memorial Park

Market & Exchange Plazas

Exchange Plaza Public Art

Two plazas on the block defined by Fayetteville, Hargett, S. Wilmington and Martin Streets, Raleigh
Artists: David McConnell and Matt McConnell (Raleigh, NC)

This project redesigned two pedestrian plazas in the heart of downtown Raleigh to address design, drainage and stormwater mitigation, landscaping and lighting. The new design created a dynamic, flexible public space for outdoor dining, events and retail entrances. Artistic planters and railings were created by the artists to beautify the plaza. Completion: Summer 2016

Press release

Learn more about Market & Exchange Plazas

Moore Square

Moore Square Grove Room Concept Design

NE corner of Hargett and Blount Streets, Raleigh
Artist: Brad Goldberg (Dallas, TX)

Community engagement is central to the new design at Moore Square. Public art enhancements will blend with the landscape of the park to create pockets (also known as grove rooms), conversation and community. Designed by artist Brad Goldberg, the multipurpose geometric forms will function as seating, share historical stories of Moore Square and foster a neighborhood feel. Completion: Summer 2019

Learn more about Moore Square

Northeast Remote Operations Facility

Pete Beeman Trellis Sculpture

Spottswood and Burwell Streets, Raleigh
Artist: Pete Beeman (Portland, OR).

Representing the facility’s departments, the four large-scale gears made of cor-ten steel, stainless steel and concrete serve as unifying elements for its employees and an exterior gateway marker for those visiting nearby Durant Park. Completion: May 2014

Sandy Forks Road Widening

Jann Rosen-Queraly COncept Design for Sandy Forks Road Widening Public Art

Sandy Forks Road at the Lakes Dr, Raleigh
Artist: Jann Rosen-Queralt (Baltimore, MD)

In addition to improving safety and mobility for vehicular traffic, cyclists and pedestrians, the road widening project incorporates sustainable bioretention features. Looking to natural systems for inspiration, the artist created a sculpture for one of the bioretention ponds that mimics the distillation process.

Completion: Summer 2017.

Union Station

Union Station artist concept design

Intersection of W. Martin and S. West Streets, Raleigh
Artist: Thomas Sayre

Union Station is a joint initiative of NCDOT’s Rail Division and the City of Raleigh, with assistance from GoTriangle. The project is among many improvements to the railroad corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte that will increase capacity, efficiency and safety. The station is scheduled to open in 2017. Raleigh firm Clearscapes Architecture + Art is spearheading the project’s design and implementation. Public artist and Clearscapes founding member Thomas Sayre is designing public art elements that will enhance Union Station’s plaza canopy.

Image: Artist’s concept design

Learn more about Union Station

Wilders Grove Solid Waste Services Facility


630 Beacon Drive, Raleigh
Artists: Matt McConnell, Lee Cherry and Marc Russo (Raleigh, NC)

The Wilders Grove Project artists used innovative approaches to sustainability, recycling and education though art. This project reflects the impact of choosing to recycle. Two recessed 8'x12' wall sections contain an undulating surface of recyclable everyday materials embedded with digital kaleidoscopes, two of which are connected to an interactive kiosk. Community members donated recycled materials for the artwork and assisted with its creation. Completion: December 2013

Arts Access audio description: 919-327-1532 extension 12

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