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Public Art Special Projects

Office of Raleigh Arts

Last updated Dec. 20, 2017 - 11:22 am
Art-On-The-Move bus art by Chrissie Van Hoever

Over the years, the Raleigh Arts Commission has initiated important public art installations and events including the Street Painting Festival (now managed by Visual Art Exchange), the Spring Arts Festival (now managed by Artsplosure) and the creation of Artspace, anchoring the growth and revitalization of Raleigh's downtown. Dynamic special projects such as Art on City Plaza, ART-ON-THE-MOVE, the Before I Die... wall and the Q-Art Code Project contribute to a landscape that is visually creative, distinctive and memorable.

Image above: ART-ON-THE-MOVE bus art by Chrissie Van Hoever

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 ArtsFlash newsletter.

Art Along Blount Street

AABS logo

The Raleigh Arts Commission, in partnership with the Raleigh Historic Development Commission, Duke Energy and Downtown Raleigh Alliance, developed the Art Along Blount Street public art project in celebration of the cultural history of the East Raleigh-South Park National Historic District. Ten artists created banners suspended on utility poles along Blount Street from Cabarrus Street to Shaw University, on view June–December 2015. The artists are Brandon Cordrey, Dare Coulter, Aaron Cracium, Debbie Crawford, Linda Dallas, Patrick FitzGerald, Rachel Herrick, Joyce Watkins King, Cindy Morefield and Robert Quinn.

Learn more about Art Along Blount Street

Art on City Plaza

Patrick McDonald, Diamonds are Forever (detail)

City Plaza features permanent public art including Jim Gallucci's 55-foot Light Towers and Horizon Line by Juan Logan, Susan Harbage Page and Peter Egan. The Office of Raleigh Arts, Artspace and Visual Art Exchange select three centerpiece sculptures every two years. Currently on view: Sculptures by Patrick McDonald. Image: Patrick McDonald, Diamonds are Forever (detail)

ART-ON-THE-MOVE

Art on the Move logo

The Office of Raleigh Arts partners with GoRaleigh every other year to feature local artwork on GoRaleigh buses. In 2017 we celebrate ten years of public art partnership! This year's art buses will debut May 2017, with exciting programming that celebrates #arteverywhere.

Learn more about the AOTM Artists and their designs. (5.1 MB)

Banjostand

Banjostand public art

Artist Bland Hoke's site-specific temporary public art is a popular addition to the annual IBMA World of Bluegrass event in downtown Raleigh, enhancing Bruno Lucchesi's iconic Sir Walter Raleigh sculpture with a bandstand created from hundreds of cast-off banjo parts. Public art support provided by Deering Banjos.

Before I Die...

Before I Die...

Before I Die... invites passersby to share their hopes and dreams in a public space. In 2011, artist Candy Chang turned the side of an abandoned New Orleans house into a giant chalkboard stenciled with, "Before I die I want to ______." The Office of Raleigh Arts debuted its Before I Die... wall at SPARKcon in 2012 and continues to bring it to events such as Artsplosure. Video

Learn more about Before I Die...

Block2 Video Screen - Sway

Market Plaza Screen Sculpture - 'Sway' - ©2016 Matt McConnell video

Raleigh public artist Matt McConnell created a sculptural video screen for Raleigh Arts' Block2 Video Series. Titled "Sway," the painted aluminum screen, measuring over 27 feet wide and 12 feet tall, was commissioned as a part of a vision to redevelop and activate an originally under-utilized space at Market Plaza on Fayetteville Street. Cary-based audio-video engineering/design firm AVCON, Inc. provided the expertise and equipment for projecting large-scale imagery.

The City of Raleigh partnered with First Citizens Bank, an ardent arts supporter whose collaboration for this endeavor extends to use of their bank wall and programmatic input.

View the Market Plaza Screen Sculpture - 'Sway' - ©2016 Matt McConnell video

Love Across the USA, North Carolina

On Saturday, Oct. 21, international artist Olek installed a crocheted mural on the facade of the Raleigh Convention Center. Raleigh residents helped to create the mural, a 40 feet wide and 20 feet high depiction of musician Nina Simone, a North Carolina native who was recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
More than 140 volunteers attended a series of workshops with Olek, a New York-based artist known internationally for her large-scale crochet artworks. Participants worked with the artist to learn the techniques needed to create the artwork locally. More than 100 participants each completed a two-feet by two-feet crocheted section of the mural. Olek returned in October to stitch the individual pieces into a cohesive whole.
Sarah Powers, the director of Raleigh Arts, was thrilled by the community response.
"It’s exciting to not only bring in an internationally known artist, but it was just as exciting to work with such great volunteers and partners to create this mural," she said. "Raleigh Arts is also proud to be part of a national art project that will connect communities across the country."
Born in North Carolina, Nina Simone became famous for her musical talents, thoughtful lyrics, and advocacy of equality. Olek chose the quote "Here Comes the Sun," from the title of one of Simone’s albums because it exemplified hope and a brighter future.
Gene Davis, who chairs the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, felt the piece conveyed a sense of love.
"Olek’s selection of North Carolinian Nina Simone as the extraordinary woman celebrated in her immense crocheted community public art hanging from the Raleigh Convention Center serves to remind us not only of Dr. Simone’s vocal and lyrical genius but also of her use of music to advocate for civil rights for African-Americans and women," he said. "Olek’s Nina Simone piece is a fitting expression of Love Across the USA because it serves to remind us to love everyone – no exceptions.”
Olek enjoyed collaborating with residents to create the piece."
It was so inspiring to see how the community came together to pay tribute to this amazing woman. I hope the stories, debates, and conversations we shared will continue long after the project, and that we can spread a culture of empathy and positivity around the country."
Love Across the USA is a public art project with the goal of bringing the community together through open workshops and public art installations. To date, Olek and community members have created portraits of Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman in New York State. The pieces celebrate women’s rights, equality, and freedom of speech by depicting the accomplishments of extraordinary women from throughout U.S. history.
This project is made possible by the Office of Raleigh Arts and the Raleigh Convention Center. Partners for this public art project include Optic Artworks and Emily Alexander, Red Heart Yarn, Artspace, VAE Raleigh, CAM Raleigh, Anchorlight, Rebus Works, McConnell Studios, Top Greene Community Center, Chavis Community Center, Black Girl in the Arts, Raleigh Murals Project, Habitat for Humanity, American Underground, Gridworks, HQ Raleigh, The Carrack, Deco, Arts Now NC, Black on Black, The Forge Initiative, Red Hat, and Lump. Special thanks to Kelly McChesney, Jenn Hales, Barclay Wiliams, and Kim Curry-Evans.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, international artist Olek installed a crocheted mural on the facade of the Raleigh Convention Center. Raleigh residents helped to create the mural, a 40 feet wide and 20 feet high depiction of musician Nina Simone, a North Carolina native who was recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

More than 140 volunteers attended a series of workshops with Olek, a New York-based artist known internationally for her large-scale crochet artworks. Participants worked with the artist to learn the techniques needed to create the artwork locally. More than 100 participants each completed a two-feet by two-feet crocheted section of the mural. Olek returned in October to stitch the individual pieces into a cohesive whole.

This project is made possible by the Office of Raleigh Arts and the Raleigh Convention Center. Partners for this public art project include Optic Artworks and Emily Alexander, Red Heart Yarn, Artspace, VAE Raleigh, CAM Raleigh, Anchorlight, Rebus Works, McConnell Studios, Top Greene Community Center, Chavis Community Center, Black Girl in the Arts, Raleigh Murals Project, Habitat for Humanity, American Underground, Gridworks, HQ Raleigh, The Carrack, Deco, Arts Now NC, Black on Black, The Forge Initiative, Red Hat, and Lump.

Moore Square Construction Fence

Propsed Moore Square Construction Fence

Raleigh artists Brian Gonzales, Cayce Lee, Shannon Newby, and artist team Peregrine Projects have been selected to create public art that will adorn the construction fence surrounding Moore Square's long-anticipated renovation through the City's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources department. Scheduled to begin Spring 2017, the artwork will be up for the duration of the construction. Project partners include Artspace, Flight, Marbles Kids Museum and the Raleigh Urban Design Center. (Image of proposal by Shannon Newby.)

Q-Art Code Project

QArt Code

This interactive smartphone experience provides information and artist interviews via QR codes at the sites of select sculptures in the Municipal Art Collection. The Office of Raleigh Arts partnered with NC State University's Advanced Media Technology Lab on this project to raise public awareness of the impact of public art and its cultural and economic contributions to Raleigh.

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