11th St. & I-277 Underpasses
Intertwining themes course through the work of local artist, Sharon Dowell, including the new underpass murals Halcyon Idyll I & II. Combining ideas of the energy of a specific place and man coexisting with nature, Dowell explores the struggle to balance it all in her underpass murals along the Light Rail Pedestrian Corridor under 11th Street and I-277.
For her largest public art project to date, the artist created her design digitally to scale (1" = 1') so that the work would cover the entirety of the 5 faces of the underpasses that will face a sidewalk. The 11th Street Underpass is approximately 67' wide by 18' high; while the I-277 Underpass is over 100' wide and 35' high. In total, the art covers over 9,000 square feet of wall!
Artist's Proposal Images for 11th Street and I-277 Underpasses
These designs in particular capture the hustle and bustle of the City of Charlotte. Abstracted from the artist's photographs and observations of architecture, scaffolding, construction, industrial elements, and organic plant imagery overlap in brilliant shades to represent the growth of both the business and cultural sectors. She hopes that our vibrant and ever growing city will continue to coexist and respect the nature that surrounds us.
Using 6 colors applied over a bright blue base coat, the lively imagery will also brighten the underpasses, creating a welcoming site for the public to walk, bike, or ride through as they travel into and out of center city.
The art was transferred and painted onto the large irregular shaped concrete underpass columns using a method that is centuries old. The art is drawn on paper at a large scale and then tiny holes are made in the paper along the lines. The paper is placed on the wall in sections and then powdered charcoal is rubbed onto the paper through the holes to transfer the lines at actual scale onto the wall. Then the lines were refined with a marker. Finally the art is all painted by hand by the artist's subcontractor.
The artist worked with Colossal Media of Brooklyn, New York to transfer and paint the mural onto the underpasses.
Halcyon Idyll II (I-277 Underpass)