Durham, NC— Three vibrant Art-Deco inspired pedestrian crosswalk designs will be installed on Downtown Durham’s Blackwell, Corcoran and Foster Streets on November 19 – 21, 2019. The ground plane art is the third major project of the Durham SmART Vision Plan — connecting the cultural hubs/districts in downtown Durham through creative placemaking. Local artist Mary Carter Taub designed the Pedestrian Crosswalk installations for three locations: American Tobacco Campus at Blackwell/Vivian St., Durham Armory to Marriott/Convention Center on Foster Street; and Durham Central Park at the Farmers’ Market crossing on Foster Street. The design will be professionally applied with a specialized colored resin including non-skid aggregate in eight bright colors.
A public dedication of the Crosswalks will take place on Saturday, November 23, from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon adjacent to the crosswalk in Durham Central Park, 501 Foster Street. Artist Mary Carter Taub will be on hand to lead visitors in a free participatory “cross chalking” art project on the street. For more information, visit www.smartdurham.org.
Artist Mary Carter Taub states: “The pedestrian crosswalks are a freewheeling riff loosely inspired by Memphis design, a blend of Art Deco and Pop art, blending geometric shapes found in downtown Durham’s local Art Deco architecture with an ‘80s palette bursting with color. The crosswalks are titled Snapping!, Crackling!, and Popping! inspired by the Rice Krispies cereal characters Snap, Crackle and Pop who were created in the ‘30s, and – fast forward to the 1980s – weighed heavily in my rotation of childhood breakfast cereals. Snapping! is the American Tobacco Campus -DPAC crosswalk, Crackling! is the Armory/Marriott crosswalk and Popping! appears as the Durham Central Park crosswalk.” (See images of the designs below)
The Durham SmART Vision Plan focuses on transforming the North/South Corridor of Blackwell/Corcoran/Foster Streets through creative placemaking. The plan, created with internationally renowned urban designer and public artist Mikyoung Kim, is a multi-year, $10 million public art and urban design strategy for Durham. The North Carolina Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Durham Arts Council, City of Durham, Durham County, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Downtown Durham, Inc., Duke University, Nasher Museum of Art, and a local SmART Resource Team of key stakeholders and arts professionals are partners in planning and implementing the public art projects and place-making strategies along the SmART corridor.
DURHAM SmART PROGRAM
Durham is one of four pilot communities chosen to be part of the North Carolina Arts Council’s SmART Program, which supports arts-driven economic development projects. Since 2012, the N.C. Arts Council has provided staff resources, public art consultants and significant funds to create a plan for downtown Durham’s Blackwell, Corcoran and Foster Street corridor. The plan connects three distinct city districts along the corridor – American Tobacco, City Center and Durham Central Park respectively, and includes projects for improving pedestrian access and artfully-designed public spaces to support greater participation for residents and visitors in the rapidly transforming corridor.
The first project, the Corcoran Street Garage Art Wrap, was designed by public artist Olalekan Jeyifous. “Durham in Continuum” was completed in summer 2018, and was recognized as one of the 50 outstanding public art projects in 2018 by the Public Art Network of the Americans for the Arts.
Noa Younse and Jennifer Hiser were selected to create a second public art installation along the Durham SmART corridor titled “A Story Goes On” which is an interactive pixel wall mural in Durham Central Park. The Pedestrian Crosswalk Art is the third and current Durham SmART Vision Plan project.
SmART Vision Plan: https://files.nc.gov/ncarts/DurhamSmARTVisionPlan.pdf
Mikyoung Kim Design: http://myk-d.com/
Durham SmART Funding Partners for the Ground Plane – Pedestrian Crosswalks
Funding partners for the SmART Pedestrian Crosswalks include the National Endowment for the Arts “Art Works” grant, the North Carolina Arts Council, Durham Arts Council (lead local agency), the City of Durham, Capitol Broadcasting Company/American Tobacco District; Downtown Durham, Inc., Durham County; plus technical support from Durham Area Designers, and Discover Durham, and additional public/private partners. For more information, visit www.smartdurham.org
About the Artist Mary Carter Taub
Artist Mary Carter Taub was selected for the Crosswalk project from among 27 artist applicants in the Triangle area. She conducted extensive research on the history and landscape of the downtown Durham corridor and its architecture and landscape as part of her design process. She also engaged with more than 130 community members at public events to gain feedback and inspiration for the crosswalks.
Mary Carter Taub received her MBA from the School of Global Management, Arizona State University; an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY; and a BA from Meredith College, NC. She has been selected for numerous public art projects including the Master Planning Team for new neighborhood parks in Cary, NC; Fort Worth, TX Public Art program; San Francisco Arts Commission Bay Area Discovery Museum; Nashville International Airport; Iowa Art in State Buildings Program; Scottsdale, AZ Public Art Program; the North Carolina Arts Council Mary B. Regan Community Artist grant; Piedmont Triad International Airport; City of Raleigh; Town of Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill Transit, and four projects for the Orange County Arts Commission. She has also been artist in residence at Glassmalerei Peters (Peters Studio), Paderborn, Germany; Parsons School of Design, La Romana, Dominican Republic; University of Wisconsin; and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine. For more information, visit www.marycartertaub.com
Artist Concept Inspiration
The crosswalk designs are informed by shapes, patterns and compositional elements found in several local Art Deco buildings such as the Hill building (Sun Trust/ 21c), NC Mutual Life building and the Kress building. The decision to use a brightly colored palette was validated at a community engagement event on June 8, 2019 at the Durham Central Park Farmers’ Market; the consistent feedback was to use colors, “the brighter, the better,” and to “give life to dead intersections,” and raise safety awareness where “folks don’t know the drill for traffic patterns and pedestrian flow.” The artist created designs to visually shake up the status quo.
Crosswalk Designs are inspired by iconic buildings in downtown Durham
Hill Building 1937 KRESS Building 1933 NC MUTUAL LIFE Building left: original location 1921
Right: current location since 1968
Pixel Wall Durham
On November 4, 2018 Durham Central Park’s Pixel Wall was installed. This is a space for community members and visitors to get creative and make art! Everyone is invited to join.
The Pixel Wall is located on the east side of Durham Central Park, on Liberty Warehouse Apartment’s brick wall overlooking the great lawn.
Here are a few things to remember when you visit:
- Make Art!
- Take a picture and tag it #pixelwalldurham
- Return unused pixels (blocks) to the wall
Photo credit: Ryan Moeller Photography
DURHAM, N.C. – The Liberty Warehouse Wall at Durham Central Park will soon have new interactive public art on display and the Durham community is invited to the early November opening ceremony.
Hosted by the City of Durham and Durham Central Park, the opening ceremony will take place on the east side of park, which is located at 501 Foster St., on Sunday, November 4 at 2 p.m. At this event, community members will have the opportunity to meet the artist collective behind the mural, Pixel Patch Creative, and create pixel murals of their own. The Opening Ceremony will take place alongside the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo, and marks the second major public art installation along the Durham SmART corridor.
The public art installation, titled A Story Goes On, was created to facilitate an interactive, engaging artistic experience in the heart of downtown Durham in which visitors are encouraged to create murals using movable pixel blocks. To celebrate the region’s incredible artistic legacy, The Story Goes On, provides space for emerging creative visions and pays particular tribute to local visionaries and thought leaders who have used their craft to advance social change.
Durham Central Park, Inc., Liberty Warehouse Apartments, and the City of Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development, General Services Department, Durham Parks and Recreation, Public Art Committee, and the Artist Selection Committee selected Pixel Patch Creative as the artist team to design and install public art for the Liberty Warehouse Wall. This selection followed a participatory review process of 104 artist applications from across the United States responding to a national call for qualifications released in September 2017.
For more information about this public art installation or its opening ceremony, contact Special Projects Manager Stacey Poston with the City’s General Services Department at (919) 560-4197, ext. 21254 or by email.
About Pixel Patch Creative
Pixel Patch Creative is an artist collective founded to promote inclusive community engagement. Their work is hosted in public spaces to support place-making, tactile interactions, and multi-layered dialogue. Pixel Patch Creative design simple tools so communities have accessible ways to express themselves creatively. For more information, follow on Twitter and Instagram.
About the SmART Vision Plan
In 2012, the City of Durham was selected as one of five cities in North Carolina to participate in the 2012 North Carolina ArtsCouncil’s SmART Initiative to demonstrate how creative placemaking revitalizes downtowns and fuels sustainable economic development. The Durham Arts Council, in partnership with the City of Durham, Durham County, and multiple private partners and community stakeholders, worked with award winning landscape architect and urban designer Mikyoung Kim, creating a SmART Vision Plan, which reimagines the rapidly transforming north-south corridor straight through downtown. For more information, visit https://www.smartdurham.org.
About Durham Central Park, Inc.
Durham Central Park, Inc., is a 501(c)3 organization that holds a management agreement to operate, develop, and program Durham Central Park, a five-acre, City-owned park in downtown Durham. Durham Central Park features numerous gardens, paths and benches, open fields, kids play area, climbable sculptures, a skate park, and a large pavilion that is home to the farmers’ market and other community events. For more information, follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the City of Durham General Services Department
The General Services Department builds and maintains City properties to make Durham a great place for people to live, work, and play. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department’s core functions include the acquisition and sale of properties, design and management of new construction and renovation projects, building maintenance, landscaping and urban forestry services, cemeteries management, sustainability and energy management, cultural and public art program management, and supporting the nonprofit Keep Durham Beautiful.
About the City of Durham Public Art Committee
The Public Art Committee serves as an advisory body to the Durham City Council and the City Manager, and its functions include assisting the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development on matters relating to public art; implementation of the Public Art Policy; and reviewing proposals for public art projects brought to it by the City administration; and making recommendations to the Cultural Advisory Board regarding project approvals. To further help artists connect with opportunities, the City has aDurham Calls for Artists page on its website, which lists a number of upcoming opportunities for artists in and around Durham. Artists and other stakeholders who would like to be notified of current and future art-related opportunities and news can now sign up for alerts through the Cultural and Public Art mailing list. For more information about the City’s Public Art Program, visit the City’s public art web page. Artists interested in more information about the Public Art program may also contact Special Projects Manager Stacey Poston with the City’s General Services Department at (919) 560-4197, ext. 21254 or by email.
At Durham Central Park, we are committed to waste reduction, recycling AND composting, but we need your help, Waste Warriors. No experience is necessary. Teens are welcome–earn your community service hours. In return, you get a Durham Central Park t-shirt, free vouchers to use at the food truck of your choice, and a food feeling when you see how much you helped divert from the landfill! For more info and to sign up, visit: http://wp.me/P3BVey-EF
Dates: January 24, March 13, June 19, September 4, October 30 (our Food Truck Rodeos)
What does a Waste Warrior do?
- Set up waste stations and signs
- Set up volunteer tent
- Staff the waste stations athat include composting and recycling stations (Waste Warrior)
- Educate food truck customers on how to properly recycle and compost (Waste Warrior)
- Sort waste into containers – trash, recycling, or compost – as needed (Waste Warrior)
- Swap out recycling and compost buns when they get full (Waste Warrior)
- Breakdown waste stations and signs
- Sort waste from food truck’s trash and recycling containers
- Break down volunteer tent
Did you know that it’s been almost a year since Mt. Merrill officially opened?! Every Saturday, it is teeming with children running up the hills and zooming down the slides, thoroughly enjoying the outdoors. Even on weekdays, families play there with home-schooled children or teachers with groups of children from nearby schools or the YMCA. They love it, as you can see here on our Flickr page.
The success of the play area has brought to our attention the need for some additional enhancements. We want to share them with you in the hopes that you would consider making an “anniversary donation” to Mount Merrill. Our needs include:
- Benches for parents and grandparents to sit and watch their children
- Permanent fencing to protect children from rolling into the creek
- Water fountain to keep everyone hydrated and happy
Our goal is $20,000.00 and we hope you will consider making a gift to keep Durham Central Park a place where everyone can enjoy the great outdoors. Donations can be made online at Durham Central Park’s secure web site www.durhamcentralpark.org/donate/ or by mailing a check to PO Box 1526, Durham, NC 27702 with Mt Merrill in the memo line.
Mt. Merrill was built on community support. It is named in memory of Merrill Davis, the son of George Davis from Stone Brothers and Byrd. During his lifetime, Merrill loved and supported DCP. He got the grass to grow in the terribly hard soil after the Pavilion was built, he got married in the Park, and was always willing to pitch in and help build the park you know and love today. After Merrill died tragically in a car accident in 2012, the community came together, through donations large and small, to build this one-of-a-kind play area in his honor.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit and enjoy Mt. Merrill, we hope that you will visit sometime soon. It’s fun for kids of all ages! Even our Executive Director is known to run up the rocks and slide down the slide from time to time. Thank you for considering supporting and enhancing Mt. Merrill and Durham Central Park. Play on!
In less than two weeks, local individuals, businesses and families have pulled together, donating more than $10,000 to Durham Central Park’s $25,000 Mt. Merrill Kickstarter campaign. WRAL’s indispensable parenting blog, GoAskMom, is lending a hand to spread the word, as we approach the campaign’s crucial half way point: GoAskMom http://www.wral.com/kickstarter-campaign-raises-money-for-durham-playground/13629419/
Building Mt. Merrill, the interactive, handicap-accessible climbing mound, has also become a community effort in terms of gathering donated and recycled materials. “Stone Brothers & Byrd is donating trees and plantings, and local sculptor Al Frega is donating benches” says DCP Board chair Lee Ann Tilley.
Shout out and BIG thank you to Tracey Goetz and Sarah Artz and all the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/York Simpson Underwood Realty group and Old North State Landscaping (Will and Ben Lang and their crew) for a great workday at Durham Central Park on Saturday morning, April 26! They brought tons of mulch, new hostas and a beautiful Japanese maple to spruce up their garden in the south west corner of the park. Take a gander behind the Pavilion, beside the Measurement Inc parking lot. These folks are a wonderful example of how Durham Central Park is a REAL community effort! We could not do it without you!
Come see the garden…it’s beautiful!
RVT Paisley holding Bear and assistant Sally holding Boone, at Durham Central Park
Durham Central Park now has a new dog waste bag station, thanks to Broadway Veterinary Hospital! They are downtown Durham’s first vet, offering veterinary care primarily for dogs and cats. They also offer acupuncture to help treat chronic pain conditions and other medical disorders.
Already woven into the fabric of the community, BVH is a Sustain-A-Bull member and a place to earn and redeem Bull City Bucks. Check out their upcoming puppy classes or open house, April 12-13th (during the Durham Art Walk.)
“We wanted to support DCP because it is such a great place for the Durham community to gather – whether that is for the Farmer’s Market, Food Truck Rodeos, or other events. It’s a great place to bring a dog for exercise and relaxation, and it’s always important to keep the area clean for others to enjoy” says Broadway Veterinary Hospital owner, Amber Meade, MS, DVM. www.bvhdurham.com