Eleven new art installations will soon appear in South End as part of a project to improve the neighborhood’s public areas.
They’re part of the South End Creative Lab, a micro-grant program that gives local artists between $50 and $1,000 to create temporary or permanent art installations.
The grant doesn’t usually cover labor costs, but it does pay for the materials needed to create the installations, which range from a historic mural to a pop-up playground.
This is the second time local artist Laurie Smithwick’s has won a South End Creative Lab grant. Her project, called “Amplify the Signal,” will continue to transform gray utility boxes on street corners by covering them in art. The boxes aren’t painted — they’re wrapped in vinyl, which is the same material used to wrap city buses.
Smithwick’s first piece of public art with the South End Creative Lab micro-grant program stands at the corner of East Boulevard and South Boulevard.
“My idea for the art for this box was to highlight the intersectionality of the corner of East and South Boulevard,” Smithwick said. “The fact that it represents the end of Uptown and the beginning of not Uptown.”
She hasn’t figured out the designs for her newest installation yet, but said she hopes to get other artists involved so they can cover more than one utility box.
What other art installations will be popping up in South End soon?
A fence along the Rail Trail will be covered with artwork that mirrors the fence’s surroundings.
Creating a Bubble World with Art
This temporary installment will allow kids to paint t-shirts and build a bubble art wall mural.
Historical Mural: Catawba Native Americans
The mural will be inspired by the Catawba Native Americans and will be painted on a building in South End’s Gold District.
In this temporary installment, games will be drawn on the sidewalk in rain-activated paint, so they’ll provide fun on a rainy day.
Outdoor Living Room on the Rail Trail
Two benches and light clusters will be constructed on the Rail Trail near Shook Kelley.
Pop-Up Play Space by Charlotte CREATIVE Re:use
A pop-up playground will be created using recycled materials.
South End Textile Renaissance
This temporary pop-up fabric dye studio will allow kids to learn dye techniques and design artwork.
South End Verses 2
The micro-grant will fund two rounds of South End Verses, which is a text and art installation on Remount Road.
Trolley Water Rounds. Look up.
Rounded pieces inspired by water will be installed on doors and windows of the Charlotte Trolley Powerhouse Museum.
UMAR Arts Yarn Bomb
Sections of the Rail Trail will be yarn bombed. If you don’t know what this means, I highly suggest looking it up.