Transit Planning
LYNX Blue Line Public Art
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Alice Adams, New York, NY
Landscape and hardscape
2007, 2008

Adams was one of two lead artists involved early in the design phase of the LYNX Blue Line. She impacted the corridor's landscape and hardscape based on her response to Charlotte's indigenous trees and plant life. Her contributions throughout the line include 47 cheekwall reliefs, a unique sidewalk paving stamp, two sculptural benches, concrete scoring patterns, and special landscapes.

Cheekwall Reliefs
Three unique concrete reliefs accentuate the low cheekwalls that separate the platforms from the light rail track. Each design corresponds with the species of tree found on the station platform. The Gingko design is integrated into the four uptown stations. The Hornbeam design is featured at four South End stations. The Skyrocket Oak appears at Scaleybark, Woodlawn, Arrowood, Sharon Road West, and I-485.

cheekwall reliefs

Samaras Stamp
The Samaras sidewalk stamp serves as a wayfinding detail, directing patrons from park and ride lots to station platforms. The design is based on the winged seed of the maple tree. It appears in concrete paths at Sharon Road West, Arrowood, and Woodlawn stations.

samaras stamp

Two concrete benches transform common building material into sculptural seating. At the Arrowood Park and Ride, the curved seating element rests amid fragrant shrub plantings for passengers awaiting transportation. At Archdale, a planter bench at ground level based on the "olean" life symbol found in ancient Mexican codices serves riders transferring between the bus and light rail systems.

Arrowood Bench and Archdale Bench

Concrete Scoring
Unique scoring patterns enliven bus bays and pedestrian paths from Scaleybark to I-485.

Concrete Scoring

Specialty landscape designs appear throughout the LYNX Blue Line. Adams' influence appears in shrub and planting configurations, plant material selections, bio-retention ponds, and unique landscaping arrangements, such as Celtic Calendar at Tyvola, Evergreen Encyclopedia at Arrowood, Butterfly Circle at Sharon Road West, and Orchard at Woodlawn.

Park and Ride Landscaping

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Nancy Blum, New York, NY
Dogwood, drinking fountain basins

Blum designed two art basins to replace 24 standard drinking fountains basins along the line. Each 18"-diameter cast bronze basin features the dogwood blossom, North Carolina's state flower. The spiral design mimics the Fibonacci growth pattern found in nature. The fountains are installed at 13 stations.

Dogwood Drinking Fountains

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Shaun Cassidy, Rock Hill, SC
Track fencing
7th Street Station, mosaics and windscreens
Light rail vehicles, seating fabric and ceiling art

Cassidy continues the corridor thematic focus on Charlotte's tree canopy with his 40 sculptural leaves for the track fencing, shelter designs for the 7th Street Station, and seating fabric and ceiling art for the light rail vehicles.  

Track Fencing
Ten stations feature four sculptural metal leaves welded into the standard station fencing between the light rail tracks. Each station highlights a different species of tree found in the area. The natural vein pattern of each leaf is replaced with a neighborhood street map indicating the station location. The top of each leaf is painted bright green, introducing color to the inert area between the tracks. The leaves are positioned along the fence as if blown across the platform, bringing a sense of movement and activity to the static track barrier. Cassidy designed the 40 metal leaves and welded each leaf into standard fencing sections while in residence at McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte.

The fencing is installed at Woodlawn, Scaleybark, New Bern, Carson, Bland, East/West, Charlotte Transportation Center/Arena, 3rd Street/Convention Center, 7th Street stations.

Track Fencing

7th Street Station
Cassidy's leaf motif is repeated in the windscreens and column cladding at the 7th Street Station. The windscreen corresponds to the gingko leaf design and neighborhood map featured in the art fencing. The 1"-square mosaic column cladding features a four-color overlapping leaf pattern.

Seventh Street Station

Light Rail Vehicle Ceiling Art & Seating Fabric
Cassidy adds to the unique interior of Charlotte's light rail vehicles with his overlapping leaf designs for the seating fabric and ceiling art. The artist-designed thread pattern adds contrast and interest to the blue seating fabric. Cassidy uses color and line in the ceiling art to convey the changing of the seasons and a sense of motion.

LRV Interior

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Richard C. Elliott, Ellensburg, WA
Tower of Light
Acrylic reflectors

Recognized for his large-scale installations created by layering thousands of plastic industrial reflectors, Elliott transforms the Archdale elevator into a prismatic display of color, light, and motion. Tower of Light includes 36 individual compositions of reflector art mounted onto the elevator glass. Outside, the 30'-high spectrum of color and geometric design beckons riders approaching the elevator. Inside, natural light passing through the multicolored patterns simulates the visual effect of stained-glass.

Tower of Light

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Hoss Haley, Asheville, NC
River Rock, bench
Concrete, steel

Smooth river stones provide the inspiration for Haley's five sculptural benches, replacing standard seating at five stations. The hand-polished steel and concrete art introduces an organic form to complement the symmetry of the station platform.
The River Rock benches are at 7th Street, Bland, New Bern, Woodlawn, and Arrowood Stations.  

River Rock Bench

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Leticia Huerta, Helotes, TX
Pavers, mosaics, windscreens

Huerta designed platform paving patterns, mosaic tile column cladding, and windscreens for 11 stations from Carson Boulevard to I-485. Each station features a unique theme derived from local history, architecture, landscape, industry, and demography. Her Gold Nuggets for Carson Boulevard were inspired by 18th century gold mining; Carson Boulevard was named after a local miner. Arrowood features Indian feathers and snakes inspired by Catawba pottery. East/West, Tyvola, and Archdale stations recognize Charlotte's textile history.  

Carson Station and Bland Street Station

Scaleybark Station and New Bern Station

Sharon Road West Station and Archdale Station

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Andrew Leicester, Minneapolis, MN
Bobbins, bridge columns; paving pattern
Brick, pavers

The Carolina textile industry inspired Leicester's brick cladding for six sculptural bridge columns supporting the Trade Street light rail platform at the CTC/Arena Station. Using three colors of brick, shape, and pattern, the artist creates unique designs that respond to multiple angles of view, while referencing the bobbins theme of his ceramic art surrounding the Charlotte Bobcats Arena. The platform paving features a five-color Zig Zag Reversed Twill Weave pattern based on American cotton design. The art honors the creativity inherent in artifacts of the textile industry – the shape of a bobbin, webs of thread, the finished fabric – and the ingenuity of technological innovations in textile production.  

CTC Bridge Columns and Platform Paving

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Dennis Oppenheim, New York, NY
Reconstructed Dwelling
30' x 30' x 25'
Steel, aluminum, wood, vinyl, lettering

Internationally-renowned American artist Dennis Oppenheim challenges passengers to contemplate the unconventional with Reconstructed Dwelling, his monumental sculpture for the plaza underneath the Tyvola platform. The art is composed of recognizable house elements – an inverted pyramid roof, staircase, wheel, cone wall, and a window corridor – constructed of common building materials. The sculpture is positioned over a painted floor plan of a typical neighborhood home.  


Reconstructed Dwelling

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Jody Pinto, New York, NY
Light Station, canopies, benches, paving pattern
Fiberglass, steel, florescent lighting, pavers

With her team of an architect, engineer, lighting designer and fiberglass fabricator, Pinto transforms the 3rd Street Station with color and light by replacing the four standard passenger shelters and seating with 20 original fiberglass canopies and benches. The green and berry canopies function as shelters, illuminating the 3rd Street platform with sunlit hues by day and florescent lighting at night. A three-color zig-zag paving pattern enlivens the platform.  

Light Station

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Marek Ranis, Charlotte, NC
Walls and bridges

Ranis, one of two lead artists on the project team from the early design phase, focused on the enhancement of corridor bridges and retaining walls.

Four of Ranis' eight specified standard formliners altered the surfaces of more than 10,000 running feet of high and low retaining walls and bridge piers. A split faced running bond block with a brick-like appearance is used at Woodlawn and Arrowood stations. A marching lane wave or fractured rib formliner at I-485, Archdale, and Tyvola, adds vertical lines and texture to the walls as well as to the bridge support columns. Two liners mimic tree bark and the texture of tree leaves on the Crump Road bridge at Sharon Road West, complemented by a brown and light green paint scheme covering over 25,000 square feet.

A Carolina earth color and a sky gray, drawn from nature, are the artist's choices for the majority of the bridges and walls (except Sharon Road West) in the six station areas from Woodlawn to I-485. Ranis' palette included the selection of textures and color inspired by the natural and man-made landscape of the City, colors of the earth and sky, textures of trees and buildings, and the appearance of traditional architecture associated with the area.

Walls and Bridges 

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Thomas Sayre, Raleigh, NC
Concrete, steel, earth

Award-winning Furrow, six large concrete and steel sculptures cast from Carolina earth, pays tribute to Scaleybark's agricultural past. The 18' sculptures were inspired by harrow disks, the agricultural tool used behind a plow to cultivate farmland. The title Furrow refers to the cultivation trench, or "Vee," left in farmland behind a plow. Each disk weighs 11-tons, yet appears fragile, belying its significant weight and density. The sculpture's convex and concave surfaces respond to sunlight with shadows that track the passage of the day. The artist's landscape design for the median continues the agricultural theme.




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Thomas Thoune, Charlotte, NC
Camden Wall

Plates, vases, glass, and cracked or broken ceramics collected from the community by the artist are recycled into art. Using machine cog shapes for 33 separates vignettes, the 360' wall captures life in the South End. One cog includes an illustrated plate of a woman receiving an award for her extraordinary garden from the owner of the Atherton Mill opened in 1893. Another includes a 19th century male pant sewing pattern, symbolizing entrepreneur Edward Dilworth Latta's men's haberdashery originally located in the former Lance Building. The cogs weave Charlotte's history and lore with present day images and neighborhood scenes.


Camden Mosaic Wall 

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Yuriko Yamaguchi, Vienna, VA
Dream Keepers

Yamaguchi's four small bronze sculptures at Bland Street Station compose a narrative work of art using forms symbolizing the growth and mystery of our lives. Her reinterpretations of seemingly familiar objects create visual riddles, prompting viewers' curiosity and imagination. Detailed surface textures invite closer inspection and touch. Like the beginning of a new journey, Dream Keepers implies a story waiting to unfold.

Dream Keepers

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Photos by JoAnn Seiburg-Baker