In August 2009, The Cemala Foundation officially presented to the City of Greensboro, "Moving Forward," a comprehensive public art project for the Greene Street Parking Deck. "Cemala chose to contribute public art to the City to express Greensboro's positive sense of character and identity," said Susan Schwartz, Executive Director of The Cemala Foundation.
The Cemala Foundation commissioned Burnsville artist Ron Fondaw to decorate the six-level deck's exterior. The theme of the art is transportation over 250 years and its importance to the development and growth of Greensboro. The project features three components.
"Transportation is an exciting theme, because it is part of our past and part of our future," said Kim Richmond, Cemala board member and granddaughter of Martha A. and Ceasar Cone II, who created the foundation. The narrative accompanying the art and written by Gayle Hicks Fripp, Greensboro Historian reads:
"Transportation has always fueled Greensboro's progress. From the wooden wheels on 18th-century wagons to the spinning turbines of jet engines, moving people and goods has been a major element in creating local fortunes.
The first railroad came to Greensboro in 1856, and within 40 years the town rumbled with dozens of trains a day. A newspaper editor described Greensboro as "the gateway to the South" and gave the city its enduring nickname: The Gate City.
In the early 20th century, automobiles, buses and trucks competed with electric trolleys on Greensboro's streets. By mid-century, the intersection of two interstate highways propelled the city's trucking and distribution industries. An additional transportation innovation took place west of town, where Lindley Field, used by early pilots, developed into the region's airport.
In the 21st century, The Gate City is home to makers of corporate jets and big-rig trucks. Piedmont Triad International Airport, supported by a network of interstate highways, hosts a major express delivery hub and its many cargo aircraft. Transportation continues to drive Greensboro forward.
Future technologies will change our vehicles and transportation systems, and Greensboro will change with them, always striving to advance. We are a city on the move."
Ron Fondaw has completed more than forty public art projects and his artwork is included in major art collections around the world. With an MFA from the University of Illinois, Fondaw is currently head of Ceramics in the Sculpture area of Art at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He has also been a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and other universities. Fondaw has worked in Japan and Denmark as well as sites around the U.S. and has received numerous distinctions including a Guggenheim award for sculpture, a National Endowment for the Arts and a Pollack/Kransner award. Visit Ron Fondaw's website.
About Public Art, Fondaw says, "Daily encounters with works of art have the potential to change how people perceive their surroundings and interact with each other. I like to define the essence of a place to express shared values with the community."
THE VEHICLE TIMELINE
|The Fast Walker||1780|
|Model T Ford||1908|
|Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle||1978|
THE GREENE STREET PARKING DECK
Opened in November 1972
Double Helix Design
Architect: J. Hyatt Hammond, Greensboro, NC
Pre-cast concrete with sandblasted concrete exterior
Total of 706 spaces on 6 levels
SPECIAL THANKS TO THESE KEY COMMUNITY PARTICIPANTS