Lake Norman & Mooresville

Robbins Park in Cornelius hosts public art exhibition

Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis, left, welcomes the visitors to the opening of Beyond Walls, the first public at exhibition for the Town of Cornelius, at Robbins Park on June 13.
Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis, left, welcomes the visitors to the opening of Beyond Walls, the first public at exhibition for the Town of Cornelius, at Robbins Park on June 13. MARTY PRICE

The town of Cornelius is holding its first public art exhibition, Beyond Walls, at Robbins Park, and the public can vote to determine the winner.

Organized by the Cornelius Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture Department and the Public Art Committee, the installation is a competition between the nine artists represented.

Jen Crickenberger, public art project manager for the town of Cornelius PARC, said the two organizations advertised an open call for submissions from across the country. “In January, we selected nine pieces to be included in the show from artists living in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida,” said Crickenberger.

“Our panel selected pieces that they felt demonstrated artistic excellence. The collection represents a variety of different media and artistic styles,” she said.

Crickenberger said they wanted to give the community a chance to vote for their favorite piece, earning one artist The People’s Choice award. “The winning artist will receive a $1,000 prize, and the piece will be considered for purchase by the town,” she said.

Students from Woodlawn School exhibited their Mandala Collection – mixed-media pieces with circular designs, using recycled bottle caps – along the park’s fence that runs parallel to West Catawba Avenue, to complement the public art display.

Five of the competing artists attended the opening and talked about their art. Harry McDaniel explained how some of the bends in the intertwined bronze sections of his piece made them resemble animal legs. His wife also saw this in the finished form and suggested the title “Faun Dance.”

Virginia Scotchie said the bronze glaze she used gave her stoneware spheres, in the “Silver Spheres” installation, their shiny surface. “They are very reflective because I want people to see themselves in my work,” she said.

Built for interaction, Morning Glory was a hit with neighborhood children as soon as it was delivered. “They (the children) were climbing all over it before I could get the straps off of it,” Jim Gallucci said of his creation. “But that is what it is built for.”

Gallucci said the exhibit showed how art can improve a community. “A park can be a great place,” he said. “Art can make it a fantastic place.”

Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at martyprice53@gmail.com

Want to go?

Beyond Walls run until Nov. 17 at Robbins Park, at 17738 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius. Hours are from dawn to dusk for unlighted facilities and dawn to 11 p.m. for lighted facilities. To vote for your favorite piece, go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/SXXWHCV.

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