Gilded Threads - CODAworx

Gilded Threads

4+

Client: Art in Transit, Charlotte Area Transit System

Location: Charlotte, NC, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $257,000

Project Team

Artist

Jim Hirschfield

Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, LLC

Artist

Sonya Ishii

Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, LLC

Overview

“Gilded Threads” Transit Stops, Charlotte, NC
Glass Interlayer, Gold Leaf and Etched Glass
10 panels @ 73-1/8” x 155”, with etched side panel @ 40-3/4” x 40-7/8”

We created designs for the ten transit shelters in the heart of downtown Charlotte. Each shelter displays a picture postcard image from the city’s library archives. The images have been enlarged to fit the back wall of each shelter, making it appear as if one could simply walk into the image and find themselves on the streets of Charlotte in one of the city’s earlier periods. However, an overlying gold leaf grid pattern (which adds an historical note that references Charlotte’s gold mining industry as well as its current status as a banking center) metaphorically prevents a viewer from passing through the glass and physically traveling back in time.

Goals

Working alongside the Art-in-Transit Advisory Committee and the Art-in-Transit staff, we worked to integrate our designs into the construction bid documents. During the art proposal development phase we took into consideration the CityLYNX Gold Line corridor communities, the past, present or future of the stop area(s), the art budget, its audiences, the technical requirements, the project design guidelines, lighting, safety, and maintenance.

Process

We read and took to heart the City Center Vision Plan which stated: “The inspiration for determining a ‘Charlotte way of doing things’ can be found in the community’s history and people as well as its culture and tradition. Center city Charlotte is a modern diversified and vibrant urban center comprised of many distinct neighborhoods … each with their own distinct character. … these historic areas surround a core of nearly all modern buildings and new cityscape. This mix of bold new development with traditional neighborhoods makes Center City truly unique." Our proposal for the West Trade Street Streetcar Stations began with the community’s history and people and uniquely reached out to people using the transit system, or those passing by. And like the young Conrad Reed who in 1799 found the first gold nugget of the region on his family’s farm, our proposal utilizes the allure of and metaphorical richness of gold and its prominence throughout human history. We pursued the interesting link between the importance of gold in the early growth of Charlotte, and its symbolic connection to Charlotte’s contemporary status as a banking center.

Additional Information

We read and took to heart the City Center Vision Plan which stated: “The inspiration for determining a ‘Charlotte way of doing things’ can be found in the community’s history and people as well as its culture and tradition. Center city Charlotte is a modern diversified and vibrant urban center comprised of many distinct neighborhoods … each with their own distinct character. … these historic areas surround a core of nearly all modern buildings and new cityscape. This mix of bold new development with traditional neighborhoods makes Center City truly unique." Our proposal for the West Trade Street Streetcar Stations began with the community’s history and people and uniquely reached out to people using the transit system, or those passing by. And like the young Conrad Reed who in 1799 found the first gold nugget of the region on his family’s farm, our proposal utilizes the allure of and metaphorical richness of gold and its prominence throughout human history. We pursued the interesting link between the importance of gold in the early growth of Charlotte, and its symbolic connection to Charlotte’s contemporary status as a banking center.