public art

Duncan McFadyen

Uptown Charlotte got a new piece of public art this week.

Unveiled with great fanfare, an 8 foot tall bear, arms upstretched, painted with colorful designs now stands in the plaza in front of the library at 6th and Tryon.

Buddy Bear, as he’s called  in both English and German, is supposed to represent the strong ties between the Charlotte region and Germany. The Bear is a symbol of Germany’s capital city, Berlin.

A Trifling Place, Episode #17: Charlotte's Public Art

Apr 18, 2014
Tanner Latham

Welcome to A Trifling Place, a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.

Overall, Charlotte has more than 100 pieces of public art. In this episode, we’re going to take a tour of a few of them. 


This is the first edition of our new weekly podcast. We're calling it WFAE Talks. News Director Greg Collard and reporters Lisa Miller and Ben Bradford discuss topics and people in the news. Consider it a behind-the-scenes discussion and analysis of some of the issues you hear addressed on WFAE. You'll also get some insight into our general newsroom banter.

This week Greg, Lisa and Ben discuss concerns about the mandates of North Carolina's 3rd grade reading requirement, the chemicals that gas drilling companies don't have to reveal to state regulators, and a possible highlighter explosion in Charlotte (you'll have to listen to see what we're talking about).


The ARK Group

An I-277 underpass may soon be getting a dose of artwork.  The ARK Group, the developers behind the NC Music Factory, has asked the NC DOT permission to brighten up the Brookshire Freeway underpass that leads to the entertainment venue.  Charlotte City Council gave its approval this week. 

The design is geometric and kind of looks like several highlighter pens exploded.  It will read NC Music Factory Boulevard.   

Keith Weston / flickr

In late 2002, Mecklenburg County adopted The Public Art Ordinance, which was soon after adopted by the city of Charlotte. This ordinance appropriates one percent of eligible capital improvement funds for public art. In the decade since then, 67 public art pieces have been completed or are in progress. There will be a celebration of 10 years of public art later this month in Charlotte, and before that, we'll talk about what constitutes public art, what the benefits of it are, and the role public art plays in Charlotte moving forward, when Charlotte Talks.

Tasnim Shamma / flickr/lumierefl

OK, lots of cities have a Square. There’s Red Square, Times Square, St. Peter’s Square to name a few.

And then … there’s Independence Square. Where’s that, you ask? Charlotte – at the intersection of Trade and Tryon.

In case you didn’t know, this intersection is where a Native American trading path - Trade Street – crossed what used to be called the Great Wagon Road, which we now know as Tryon.  

Today, the intersection is named Independence Square to recognize the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. County leaders signed the document on May 20, 1775, declaring freedom from tyranny … I mean England … more than a year before the Continental Congress did it in Philly.

Four statues at each corner of the intersection further distinguish the square. These statues are the subject of this edition of A Trifling Place

Dilworth Unveils Public Sculpture

Nov 30, 2012

A new public art sculpture will be unveiled this weekend.