Waynesville will dedicate its third public art project during a dedication ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Gallery 86.
The project — an artistic railing representing Waynesville’s connection with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — will be installed at the mini-park at the intersection of Main and Depot streets. Ben Kastner and Richard Coley of Wilmington will install their piece the week of Nov. 15.
The theme for the railing is “Art Connects the Parks.” This Waynesville intersection was once the location of a large arched sign indicating the direction of travel, down Depot Street, to the eastern entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The railing design contains layered mountains, handcrafted trees, a recognizable Waynesville church steeple, and in honor of the designation of the Great Smoky Mountains as the “Salamander Capital of the World,” three salamanders.
Salamander Splash, a very successful fundraising event was held June 24 at HART Theater, and the “Salamander Capital of the World” theme continued with an art auction of more than 48 custom works of art — paintings, jewelry, pottery, quilted wall art and metal made by the artists of Haywood County. The artists contributed their talent and energy to the effort to raise the $20,000 commission for the railing.
All of the $20,000 commission was raised from private individuals, area businesses and a grant from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
This is the third major public art installation in Downtown Waynesville. “Old Time Music,” at the corner of Main and Miller streets, and “Celebrating Folkmoot,” in front of the police station and development ofice, were dedicated in 2008 and 2009 respectively. All money for the artworks come from private donations.
Are you artsy or interested in art? Want to engage the community and enrich public spaces through original art that celebrates Waynesville’s unique historic, cultural, natural and human resources?
Then join the Waynesville Public Art Commission, because that is exactly the mission of this nine-member board. The Public Art Commission has a vacancy and is seeking a member willing to make decisions, raise funds and help preserve and expand the public art collection.
For more information call 828.452.2491 or visit for an application.
The Waynesville Public Art Commission recently issued a Call for Artists for its fourth public art project. The proposed art will celebrate the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its historic relationship to Waynesville.
For many years an arched sign hung across Main Street declaring Waynesville the “Eastern Entrance to the Smokies.” Long-time residents will recall that the archway was near the intersection of Main and Depot Streets, near the former First National Bank. This is also the intersection where Franklin D. Roosevelt made his entrance into Waynesville while promoting the development of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1936.
The former bank site is now the location of a town “mini-park” which is scheduled for rehabilitation in 2010. Using funds that have been donated specifically for the improvement of the park, the town plans to revitalize the area by improving access, landscaping, lighting, and encouraging more usage of the mini-park. The existing rock perimeter walls will remain, but must be brought into proper code adherence by the installation of a railing along Depot Street. This provides an opportunity to meet functional needs in an aesthetic manner.
The Public Art Commission has requested that interested artists submit designs for a 69-foot railing that will incorporate artistic elements relating to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its historical connection to Waynesville. The artist must reside in either North Carolina or Tennessee, the two states contiguous with the Park, and must submit a portfolio of past works for review. The Call for Artists and other public art information can be viewed on the Town’s website at www.townofwaynesville.org.
Three artists will be chosen from the applicants to make a presentation of their finalized plans to an advisory panel of 35-40 community and arts supporters. After reviewing comments of the panel, the Public Art Commission will decide on a finalist to receive the commission of $20,000.
The $20,000 commission will be raised from private sources, and the public is invited to make a donation to the Public Art Fund. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Waynesville Public Art Fund, and should be mailed to P.O. Box 1409, Waynesville, NC 28786 in care of Downtown Waynesville Association. Donations may be tax deductible.
The other works commissioned by the Public Art Commission include “Old Time Music,” the paver project in front of the new police station, and “Celebrating Folkmoot.”
The installation will coincide with the refurbishment of the park and should be completed by fall 2010. For more information, contact 828.627.0928.
Courtney Boessel’s “Patchwork Community” was chosen as the winning entry for Waynesville’s new police station paver design as part of a contest sponsored by the Waynesville Public Art Commission.
The contest was designed to build community — and also to build public awareness of town history — and was open to Tuscola High School art students.
Given the theme “A Heritage of Service and Friendship,” the students were asked to submit sketches of a brick paver design to be installed at the outdoor plaza area in front of Waynesville’s new police station. The design concept needed to be site specific, reflecting the history and past uses of the location. In the past it had been a livery stable, a town hall, chamber of commerce, fire and police departments and the Downtown Waynesville Association headquarters. The site has also served as a gathering place, promoting fellowship among citizens and visitors, during numerous festivals including Folkmoot.
Three sketches were chosen as finalists from among those presented by Tuscola teacher Donna Rhodes’ art class. In addition to Bowessel the finalists were Kelsey Jaynes’ “Tri-umphant” and Patrick Burke’s and Cory Plott’s joint effort titled “Where We All Come Together.” Boessel, submitted her drawing titled, “Patchwork Community.” The three finalists made a formal presentation, each with a detailed rendering and written explanation of their concept, to a selection committee consisting of citizens and town officials.
Boessel explained that her concept pays homage to the venerable craft of quilting. The focal point of the walkway in her design is a giant log cabin square, a popular quilting pattern in our region. “From the log cabin days of early pioneers to the thriving commerce and growth of our town today, we are a patchwork of cultural diversity, strength, talent, accomplishment and promise,” she said.
The two finalists were awarded $250, and Boessel was awarded $750. All three drawings will be on display in the lower level of the Haywood County Public Library on Haywood Street in downtown Waynesville, beginning Feb. 14.
Established in 2006, the Waynesville Public Art Commission was appointed by the Town of Waynesville to develop a public art plan. Choosing themes that are unique to Waynesville, the commission’s purpose is to bring art to public sites, resulting in a permanent art trail for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The commission dedicated its inaugural piece titled “Old Time Music” in October 2008 at the corner of Miller and Main street in downtown Waynesville.
To learn more about the Waynesville Public Art Commission and their projects, contact the Downtown Waynesville Association at 828.456.3517, or visit the Town of Waynesville Web site at www.townofwaynesville.org and press on the public art tab.
By Michael Beadle
What would New York City be without its Statue of Liberty? Picture St. Louis without its Gateway Arch. What would towns and cities be without their signature sculptures and eye-catching murals?