Client: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Arts & Science Council
Location: Charlotte, NC, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $175,000
Creative Design & Project Manager
Public Art Services
The sculpture is animated by both people swaying on the bench and seemingly being frozen in a state of collapse—the columns are bowed, the canopy is tilted, and the layers of glass are out of alignment. The artwork employs objects we regularly see in public spaces—pipes, canopies, and benches—and assembles them in a way that changes our experience to create new social interactions. Finally, the artwork is an iconic destination and landmark amid a micro-park adjacent to the trailhead for the 7th-10th Street segment of the Cross Charlotte Trail.
8.5′ x 11.5′ x 13′
Painted & unpainted stainless steel, corten steel, laminated glass, LED spotlight
Belly Yup is a participatory, interactive iconic artwork at a Cross Charlotte trail section trailhead. It is a respite, a destination, and a place to meet.
John Grant (Public Art Services) provided design development and fabrication services for the structure and installation. Nick Geurts (Yetiweurks) provided design and structural engineering services. The City of Charlotte and the Trail designers prepared the site as per our specifications.
I purposefully use materials from the everyday outdoor environment—anything from benches, to swings, to canopies, to pipes—and bring them into the realm of art. I create a level of connection to the familiar while highlighting elements of awe and beguilement, often using existing artifacts from the site, and retrofitting them to make a micro public square or landmark that encourages creative patterns of use. The works are spirited, accessible, participatory, and very often unexpected. By considering behavioral design and combining impactful visuals with dynamic elements activated by people and changes in ambient light and weather, the resulting work is in constant flux. The artwork becomes part of the community's fabric and is integral in shaping how we live in public space. The idea is to surprise while fostering a sense of community around an unlikely object or site.