Creativity abounds in South End, and you can find art literally around every corner: on walls and windows, under your feet and up above your head. Below is our guide to public art in the neighborhood, who the artist is and where you can find it.
This list is under development and always changing. If you have a new or favorite public piece to add to this list, let us know!
Beautiful UtilitiesLaurie Smithwick - Visit Website
176 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Graphic designer Laurie Smithwick used her 2016 South End Creative Lab grant to turn a traffic signal utility box into artwork. Since the box lies at one of South End’s busiest intersections, she collected stories of the hub from residents to inform her piece. From these narratives, she came to understand the intersection as a meeting point for a network of diverse neighborhoods. Smithwick reflected this idea in her design by bleeding colors into each other and overlapping shapes.
Before I Die I Want ToDavid Furman - Visit Website
115 E Kingston Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203
On this chalkboard, all types of Charlotte residents and visitors share what it is they want to do before they die. Some of the responses are honest, some are aspirational, and some are humorous, and they are ever changing as more Rail Trail users contribute their hopes and dreams on the public forum. This popular spot created is worth a visit and guaranteed to inspire. The chalkboard is one of many guerilla art pieces that have appeared overnight on the Rail Trail; this one materialized in March 2015.
Camden Wall Mosaic FriezeTom Thoune - Visit Website
Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203
The 33 mosaics along Camden Road at the East/West Boulevard Light Rail is the result of an enthusiastic collaboration between South End Residents and local artist Tom Thoune. In 2005, Thoune gathered donations of plates, glass and broken ceramics from South End residents through a community collection arranged in conjunction with McColl Center for Visual Art, then recycled and combined them with his own handmade ceramics. The materials were used to make a mosaic frieze spanning 360 feet that tell a story about South End and its surrounding neighborhoods.
In 2017, the South End Neighborhood Association spearheaded a project to repaint the wall, with assistance and coordination from CATS Art in Transit and maintenance teams, artist Tom Thoune, Charlotte Center City Partners, and all the neighbors who came out with paintbrushes to spruce up the art wall.
Catawba MuralMiouxnie Rane West - Visit Website
307 Lincoln St, Charlotte, NC 28203
Local artist and South End Creative Lab grant recipient Miouxnie Rane West was inspired by her native American roots for this Riva Finoli Passage project. She drew on the rich history of Catawba Indians in the Charlotte area to craft a piece representative and reflective of their poignant impact. The vibrant result depicts the Catawba River flowing through lively swirls of color. To achieve full authenticity, West freehanded the entire installation, forgoing projection tools and painting directly from her mind.
Charlotte Art League Commission MuralCarlleena Person - Visit Website
1517 Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Duke Substation & Beacon Tower IlluminationDuke Energy - Visit Website
Charlotte Rail Trail, Charlotte, NC 28203
Edna’s PorchDavid Furman - Visit Website
213 E Palmer St, Charlotte, NC 28203
In 2016, David Furman and CATS collaborated to add purpose and dimension to a vacant patch of land near the Blue Line transformer. The installation, Edna’s Porch, includes swings, benches, and a patio covering for everyone on the Rail Trail to enjoy.
Exclamation PointDavid Furman
109 E Tremont Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203
Fowler PorchDavid Furman - Visit Website
1447 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28203
Artist David Furman of Centro Citiworks has brought many eccentric works to the Rail Trail. In 2016, he created Fowler Porch to creatively bring playfulness to a previously unused, deteriorating wall. Furman worked in collaboration with local steel artist Ben Parrish of Steel Design Studios, who made the screen, handrails, and seesaw on the porch. The project was made possible by Beacon Partners, owners of the adjacent Fowler Building.
Life In TransitKate Stewart & Holt School of Fine Art Students - Visit Website
118 E Kingston Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203
The Dilworth Artisan Station, a hundred-year-old building originally a garment and textile factory, serves as a studio for 35 Charlotte artists. In 2017, one of these artists, Kate Stewart, was selected to bring the creativity happening inside the Station to the building’s exterior. Stewart worked with a group of her fine arts students to capture the dynamic nature of city life and visually represent the quiet moments city residents enjoy after the hustle and bustle of their days. Their installation spans 20 aluminum panels on the façade of the Station and can be seen from the Rail Trail.
Magic Carpet MuralsJessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn - Visit Website
109 E Tremont Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203
The Magic Carpet Murals bring vibrancy and color to South End and Uptown. Artists Jessie and Katey designed the graphic pieces in collaboration with children in the Charlotte community and installed the paintings with the help of volunteers in March 2016. The three Magic Carpets can be found on the Rail Trail across the tracks from Atherton Mill, adjacent to the Shook/Kelly office building at 2151 Hawkins Street, and between the New Bern Station and Hyde Brewing.
Mexican Mermaid (Karla)Sharon Dowell - Visit Website
1999 Hawkins St, Charlotte, NC 28203
The large-scale, purple-haired mermaid (affectionately “Karla”) soars above Hawkins Street. She was painted by artist Sharon Dowell in 2018 for The Design Center of the Carolinas, made possible by a commission from Asana Partners. Karla adds an element of punk and adventure to a previously blank brick wall. Dowell enjoys bringing her work to public spaces because she believes it makes art less intimidating and helps integrate creativity into daily life.
Mother NatureRosalia Torres-Weiner - Visit Website
2401 Distribution St, Charlotte, NC 28203
Muralist and activist Rosalia Torres-Weiner brought Mother Nature to Friendship Trays in April 2017 as a testament to the women who run the non-profit organization. Friendship Trays has been active in the Charlotte community since 1976, providing subsidized meals to those in need. Torres-Weiner took on the project because she enjoys depicting real people confronted with challenges in beautiful ways, and was inspired by the compassion and initiative of the majority female staff at Friendship Trays. The artist creatively addressed the electrical wires and boxes on her canvas by incorporating them into her painting as tendrils of her subject’s hair.
Pre-Historic South End BrontosaurusAmy Hart - Visit Website
Charlotte Rail Trail, Charlotte, NC 28203
This bicycle-osaurus was brought to South End by CIEL gallery’s Amy Hart in 2016. The project was envisioned by the South End Neighborhood Association and made possible by a private donation and a Historic South End Placemaking Grant, with the support of Park Condos HOA.
Rail Trail Symphony and Soundwave ArtCentral Piedmont Community College Students - Visit Website
Charlotte Rail Trail, Charlotte, NC 28209
The Rail Trail Symphony project was made possible by KaBoom, a nonprofit which aims to help cities create spaces for kids to play everywhere. The Symphony provides unconventional musical instruments for children to experiment with sound in a collaborative environment. Soundwave Art, a mural at the foot of the Rail Trail Symphony, was designed and painted by CPCC students, and visually represents the musical creativity happening above it.
Signal HouseLeigh Brinkley - Visit Website
Camden Rd & W Tremont Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203
This building, constructed in 2007, houses equipment necessary for the operation of the Lynx Blue Line. CATS Arts in Transit program and local designer Leigh Brinkley gave the utilitarian structure a new look in 2012. Their collaboration yielded the fun art piece Rail Trail users see today. Their design reflects South End’s quirkiness and creativity, and serves as a landmark in the neighborhood.
Track FencingShaun Cassidy - Visit Website
1511 Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Shaun Cassidy’s 2006 residency with CATS yielded 40 stainless steel leaf-maps which were installed along the Lynx Blue Line. He cleverly replaced each leaf’s veins with street maps of Charlotte neighborhoods specific to the Light Rail Station where it was placed for transit riders to enjoy.
UnfurledPamela Goode - Visit Website
102 W Park Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203
Unfurled was conceived and managed by glass mural artist Pamela Goode with the dual aim of providing fellow artists with the opportunity to contribute to a public work and of highlighting the unique qualities of large scale glass mosaics. Goode invited 52 international artists to contribute. Each had the freedom to showcase their individual style in a section of the mosaic. The patching together of these smaller pieces resulted in three very large plant-shaped panels bursting into bloom. The amazingly intricate finished product would not have been possible without designer Lin Schorr, grouters, installers, and enthusiastic private sponsors.
Urban EddyCarmella Jarvi - Visit Website
1507 Camden Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Charlotte native and local artist Carmella Jarvi was inspired by water for this project. To bring movement and nature to the Charlotte Trolley Powerhouse, Jarvi crafted 13 stunning glass rounds, which were then photographed and printed onto vinyl. In January 2018, the vinyls were adhered to the windows of the Powerhouse, reflecting beautiful colors outside and inside the building. This installation was made possible by the South End Creative Lab, which allows artists to infuse creativity into spaces of opportunity.
Warby Parker Wall IllustrationAnna Kövecses - Visit Website
2000 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Cyprus based artist Anna Kövecses brought her whimsical, modern illustration style to the interior of Warby Parker in 2017. The fun mural brings color to the industrial space, which mellifluously blends South End’s enthusiasm for the arts with its manufacturing history.
Willie for PresidentAlison Hamil - Visit Website
2511 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Mac’s Speed Shop commissioned artist Alison Hamil to paint this patriotic Willie Nelson mural in 2017. The mural is located the venue’s outdoor seating area for patrons to enjoy.