Visitors

Submitted by John Merigian

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Client: The Town of Cary, NC

Location: Cary, NC, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $35,000

Project Team

Artist

John Merigian

Landscape Architect

Coulter Jewell Thames

Coulter Jewell Thames

Overview

The Town of Cary, NC contacted me regarding a project – the New Hope Church Road ATT Trailhead Park. It was at the design phase, and I was selected to design a sculptural response to the site. The committee wanted to include public sculpture into the design of the space.

Goals

It was important that the sculptural response respected the multi-purposeful intent of the park. It was to be a trailhead, with equestrian, pedestrian, and bicycle use. The work needed to engage these three core users of the park. Additionally, the park was planned to have picnic areas and a playground area. In short, the goal was to place sculpture into this environment that could connect in different ways with the wide range of guests.

Process

Working with the Landscape Architectural team, and the Town of Cary Public Art Board and Design Team, we discussed these goals as described, and talked about numerous sculptures I had created that reflected the essential elements of the parks' planned purposes. In the numerous discussions that ensued a concept emerged that contained high energy, friendship and togetherness, and stillness that included an element of safety and protection. The figures that were woven into this concept each had elements of these intentions. They were sited in the space of the park in order to allow connection with each other. While connected, they remained independently reflective of the wider range of park users. The landscape design team and artist worked together to determine final spacing, distances, and orientation of the works. The result was "Visitors" - a grouping of four sculptures, two together, and the remaining two placed separately.

Additional Information

The image of Contender in profile has been adopted by the Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources Department as a logo representing their highly successful Thanksgiving weekend "Downtown Urban Open Disc Golf Tournament". In addition to incorporating sculpture into the development of the Trailhead Park, the connection between Public Art and Recreation has allowed important community cross over connectivity - sport and recreational activity in harmony not contrast with Public Sculpture.