“Greenway Blueway Byway Skyway”, located on the Happy Valley Greenway, provides seating-in-the-round on a painted and galvanized steel platform cantilevered over the Yadkin River. Engineered like a diving board, the platform sways above the sounds of the water cascading over the rocks below. It’s a playful hybrid of a bridge, a scenic overlook, and a park bench, providing visitors an intimate way to engage with others or just enjoy a moment suspended in time and space in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. (con't below)
Last time you were standing on a platform cantilevered over the water, you were probably at the end of a diving board anticipating a plunge into the water below. This time, with “Greenway Blueway Byway Skyway”, you’ll find a meeting place and a respite—a place to relax, contemplate, and converse.
Those who walk up 40’ long steel gangway find themselves suspended in the midst of a picture postcard of the North Carolina Blue Ridge foothills featuring the Yadkin River, the Greenway, and grass covered fields with a red barn, a white farmhouse, and often grazing cows.
This work has been described as invoking the mood of a “fireless campfire,” where community and contemplation coexist effortlessly.
Matthew Geller’s public artworks set out to engage the public and foster a sense of community. His works are spirited, accessible—and very often unexpected. By using disparate elements (including everything from swings to showers to wind) in surprising and interactive ways, he aims to encourage engagement with the work and among viewers themselves.
This project was developed with extensive community engagement and collaboration with the Happy Valley Greenway Committee and the Caldwell Arts Council. Metalab (http://metalabstudio.com) provided design development, fabrication documentation services, and fabrication oversight. Chuck Lysaght—Lysaght & Associates (www.lysaghtassociates.com) provided structure engineering services
For the past dozen years, Geller has often worked with a visual vocabulary that doesn’t immediately telegraph its status as art. He likes to use eyesores as his starting point, sites and vernaculars that have been marginalized in some form: the controlled chaos of industrial infrastructure (“Open Channel Flow” / “Chroma Booster”), the abandoned limb of an amusement park ride (“Greenway Blueway Byway Skyway”), a rotting log on the grounds of a museum (“Anticipator”). He takes these abject artifacts and retrofits them to create a ready-made public square fostering a sense of community around an unlikely object or site.
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