12/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2019 12:26
Selected Local Artists Worked with Residents to Reimagine Streetscape, Honor Community
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashvillians traveling along Nolensville Pike will soon see the works of five local artists and artist teams incorporated into streetscape elements as part of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission's (Metro Arts) use of public art as a community investment tool, bringing art to Davidson County's neighborhoods while sharing the stories of every Nashvillian. Metro Arts is preparing for the fabrication stage of the artist-designed WeGo Nashville transit shelters and Metro Public Works utility box wraps.
The selected artists are:
• Daniel Arite and Thandiwe Shiphrah
• LeXander Bryant
• Tess Davies
• Jairo and Susan Prado
• Tony Sobota
Artist Tess Davies's work with the children of Casa Azafran's Pre-Kindergarten classes inspired her design for a 'Friendly Monster' transit shelter.
The Metro Arts Board of Commissioners selected the five artists and artist teams in 2018, chosen from a pool of applicants challenged with reimagining the Nolensville corridor's streetscape, and at their Nov. 2019 meeting the Board approved the final designs. Metro Arts' plan to incorporate and fund public art along the busy corridor was informed by the recommendations of Conexión Américas' Envision Nolensville Pike Collaborative.
Along with conducting engagements with different segments of the Nolensville Pike community, the selected artists have worked with technical advisors from Metro Public Works, WeGo Public Transit, Transportation Planning and Metro-contracted fabricators to develop the artist-designed improvements to key intersections along the corridor. Their designs include four transit shelters and a series of wrapped utility boxes.
Prototype of Jairo and Susan Prado's transit shelter at shopping center across from the Nashville Zoo.
Each project reflects the surrounding community. Tony Sobota's engagement with the Little Kurdistan neighborhood resulted in his shelter's homage to the iconic Zakho bridge and date palm trees from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, whereas Tess Davies focused on the preschool students at Casa Azafran, incorporating their fanciful drawings and ideas into a 'friendly monster' concept for the adjacent transit shelter.
'We are excited to see local artists continue contributing to Nolensville Pike, including Colombian artist Jairo Prado and his wife Susan Prado, who also created 'Migration,' the mosaic crowning Casa Azafrán, and the 'Roots & Routes International Coin Mural' at Azafrán Park,' said Conexión Américas Executive Director Juliana Ospina Cano. 'These artistic transit shelters will add to the vibrancy of Nashville's most diverse corridor, while making travel along Nolensville Pike safer and easier for those who use public transportation.'
Mosaic artists Jairo and Susan Prado incorporated the diverse cultures and vibrant community of Nolensville Pike into their bright, geometric design, while Daniel Arite and Thandiwe Shiphrah employed a quilt motif in their abstract collage to honor late Woodbine resident Fannie Hall Williams' sewing circles and activism. Utility boxes along the Pike will feature LeXander Bryant's graphic Get Home Safely series of portraits and quotes conveying neighborhood concerns.
'Art is powerful, especially when it becomes part of our daily lives,' said WeGo CEO Steve Bland. 'We hope that by working with our Metro partners, we can create spaces where riders from our most vibrant and diverse community can become inspired on a daily basis.'
'These concepts are great examples of public art as a tool to engage, inspire and reflect what's unique about a community,' said Metro Arts Executive Director Caroline Vincent. 'The artists' designs came directly from their engagements with the people, organizations and businesses along Nolensville Pike.'
The next step for each design is the fabrication process, with the goal of installation in 2020. View all five concept illustrations and learn about the artists' creative processes and community engagements on the Metro Arts blog.
About Metro Arts
Metro Arts is the Nashville Office of Arts + Culture. Our mission is to drive a vibrant and equitable community through the arts. Metro Arts strives to ensure that all Nashvillians have access to a creative life, and we work toward this goal through community investments, artist and organizational training, public art and creative placemaking, and direct programs involving residents in all forms of arts and culture. Metro Arts receives operational support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and additional information is available online at www.MetroArtsNashville.com.
WeGo Public Transit connects people to their lives and communities through local and regional bus & train services in the Greater Nashville/Davidson Co. and Middle Tennessee area. www.WeGoTransit.com
About Metro Public Works
Metro Public Works serves the residents of Nashville and Davidson County. The mission of the Department of Public Works is to deliver a wide range of services that help define the quality of life for Nashville and Davidson County's residents, businesses and visitors by ensuring a safe and convenient complete streets transportation infrastructure; protecting the environment; and creating cleaner, beautiful, and more livable neighborhoods.