Here’s the deal with Pillars of Dreams, a $489,000 public art commission at a community resource center

Here’s the deal with Pillars of Dreams, a $489,000 public art commission at a community resource center
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Pillars of Dreams, a cloud-like sculptural work commissioned by Mecklenburg County, the Public Art Commission and the Arts and Science Council, was recently completed at the Valerie C. Woodard Center in west Charlotte.

The otherworldly dome is an unexpected sight in front of a government building and it’s attracting Instagrammers, art lovers and curious passersby for unique photo ops. Here’s the deal.

What it is: The piece features eight bulbous towers comprised of 3,500 individual sheets of aluminum held together by 54,000 rivets. A white exterior opens to a saturated pink and blue interior visible from underneath the structure.

Who made it: Pillars of Dreams is the second public art display in Charlotte from Mark Fornes and his New York City-based studio TheVeryMany. His first piece in town, a 26,000-square-foot blue and green “Wanderwall” covering the parking deck at Novel Stonewall Station, was named one of the top 50 public artworks in the country last year. Installation took about four weeks and was completed in April 2019.

Valerie C. Woodard Center geotagged photos on Instagram

How it was funded: The commissioned artwork cost $489,000 and was funded by the Public Art Ordinance, which allocates 1 percent of eligible capital improvement projects for public art.

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Where it is: Pillars of Dreams is located in front of the Valerie C. Woodard Center at 3205 Freedom Drive. “The Valerie C. Woodard Center is a community resource center where residents can access multiple services under one roof, from public health and veteran services to prevention and intervention for community or domestic violence,” said Arts and Science Council communications manager Bernie Petit. “As such, the public art located at the resource center serves not only to provide an experiential icon for the Valerie C. Woodard plaza, but to provide a restful and welcoming gathering space for friendly interactions and quiet moments of reflection.”

Why it matters: “The public artwork is the result of the multi-year effort to rehabilitate the old Freedom Mall into viable office space for Mecklenburg County,” said Petit. “It is an example of how the county works with ASC and the Public Art Commission to ensure artworks enhance our public spaces and become integral to urban and economic development efforts.”

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