Client: City of Charlotte - Office of Arts & Culture
Location: Charlotte, NC, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $185,000
City of Charlotte - Office of Arts & Culturer
Liz Mahlow / Mit Gala
A 20’ tall sculpture. sited in the public plaza along
6th st, in front of the new CMPD headquarters and opposite the entrance to Elmwood Cemetery. The project is symbolic of the close collaboration with police officers, community members and participants from the Urban Ministry Center in 2018. Faces of those who participated in our workshops were 3d captured through photogrammetry. From these various groups, 3d scans of participants were chosen at random to be featured in the sculpture, giving tribute to the diverse cross-section of those who define the community. The artwork does not celebrate those of power, prestige or any other accomplishment, other than being a member of the community.
The lengthy title of the sculpture comes from a poem generated by people at Roof Above. They responded to questions posed by the artistic team, and their responses were woven into a work of word art.
1. Design a sculpture that represented a diverse sense of community.
2. Work with community members and the police department in the concept design phase of the project.
3. Integrate the sculpture into a public plaza outside of the station.
4. Design our outreach efforts to produce results that are usable, formally, within the sculpture
5. Produce an interactive and dynamic artwork that changes with view angle, season and weather.
Working in bent stainless wire was a first for us and everyone else we worked with to make this project happen. It required collaboration and patience from all involved. Using a relatively new machine, capable of CNC wire bending (created by Pensa Labs), we embarked on a challenge not yet done at such a scale. Thousands of unique profiles were bent and assembled, with a lot of trial and error.
“From these various groups, 3-D scans of participants were chosen at random to be featured in the sculpture, paying tribute to the diverse cross-section of those who define the community. The base form of the sculpture came from the idea of a queen chess piece, emblematic of the … Queen City,” “From there, we used faces of the community to ‘carve into’ that base form, refining the symmetrical representation into a nuanced and organic shape that reveals itself differently in a variety of conditions, from one’s point of view to the time of day and weather conditions. When a face was carved into the base form, it was done so in reverse, allowing for the hollow face illusion to take effect, allowing an effect where a face [appears to] continually follow you as you move around it.”