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Artists are using North Hills’ parking decks, outside walls, and ceilings as canvases for an engaging array of artwork that sparks conversation, provokes thought, and encourages people to linger. Adding to its existing collection of outdoor murals and sculptures, North Hills installed 37 new pieces of original public art at various locations in 2017. Visitors can enjoy much of North Hills’ collection by taking an Art Walk through the development’s three districts.
Start your Art Walk at the Main District parking deck near Target. A 2017 partnership between North Hills and the NC Museum of Art (NCMA) led to transforming the deck into a gallery titled Teens Inspired with works by 27 North Carolina teenagers. Gallery organizers recognize that many visitors will be surprised to see art in a parking deck.
“It’s so unexpected, so surprising, and also (there’s) the fact that they (the teen artists) have so many viewers coming to see their work,” Harriet Hoover, coordinator of studio, teen, and college programs at the North Carolina Museum of Art, said in an interview with The News & Observer. “It feels a little edgy in this parking deck as well, which I think is enticing and exciting.”
From the parking deck, take the Renaissance elevator to the hotel lobby and check out Wings, a light-emitting, hanging sculpture inspired by the first manned flight. While visiting the hotel, don’t miss the Renaissance Art Gallery and the NC Floor Medallion.
Next, cross Lassiter Mill Road and enter the Lassiter District to see architect and artist Thomas Sayre’s five Earth Cast Disks above the lululemon store. Each of the disks is an exploration of patterns found in the soil such as erosion, drought cracks, and tire tracks. Around the corner near Sur la Table, you will see The Raleigh Mural by Scott Nurkin. It’s reminiscent of midcentury postcards and shows a woman in a pastoral setting looking to Raleigh’s current skyline.
When you cross Six Forks Road to enter the Park District, one of the first sights is The Art Box on the ground level of the Bank of America. A collaboration between North Hills and the NCMA, this display showcases a rotation of work by regional artists. The current installation will last 12 months and features Lincoln Hancock and Mollie Earls’ Sleeper. The dreamscape boasts a central figure that suggests we all take a moment to look inward and chart a path toward a better reality.
From The Art Box, walk away from Dartmouth Road and enter the Park District through Thomas Sayre’s sculptural gateway, The Overlook. At the bottom of this grand staircase, visitors will find the Kelsey Montague Mural. It is part of #WhatLiftsYou, an interactive art campaign that encourages people to take a picture with Montague’s murals and share the photos on social media along with a note about what inspires them. This mural depicts a large oak (Raleigh is the City of Oaks) with the state bird, and more North Carolina imagery woven throughout the tree’s trunk.
Also in the Park District, visitors can see the The Dartmouth Mural, a bright geometric piece that anchors the fitness pocket near The Dartmouth apartments.
Inside the AC Hotel lobby, meeting rooms and breakfast area, art lovers will find impressive photos and paintings from regional artists including Kinston’s Ben Knight, also known for his work on the award-winning PBS television series A Chef’s Life. The focal point of the AC’s reception area is Knight’s large abstract acrylic on canvas titled For Salvation which leads the viewer to see color and light in unfamiliar ways. Guests can also see paintings by Gerry Lynch and Charlotte Foust along with photos and paintings by Jeff Chase.
Take Park Avenue away from the AC Hotel toward the Park Central apartments to see Aurora, an awe-inspiring representation of the Northern Lights on the ceiling of the mews area. This abstract piece by Mia Yoon took more than a year to create and install and was created specifically for the location.
From Park Central continue the Art Walk to see Grant Penny’s giant paper airplane series on the exterior sides of the Midtown Plaza parking deck. These large-scale banners are a guiding wish for Penny’s young daughter in hopes that “she soars in life but does not take it too seriously.” Penny creates his collage work using a paper known as Lokta, which is handmade and dyed in Nepal from the fibrous bark of a plant that grows at high altitudes in the Himalayas.
St. Albans Expansion
The paper airplane installation marks the end of our Art Walk through North Hills, but not the end of Kane Realty’s commitment to public art. There are plans for exciting new installations in the expansion of the Park District which will break ground along St. Albans Drive later this year. The commitment to public art is part of Kane Realty’s effort to create a place people want to visit often and where they are delighted at every turn. For more information on North Hills public art program, click here.