Current Projects

​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)

Halcyon Idyll I (11th Street Underpass)​​​

Back Side of Halcyon Idyll I; A sidewalk will be along this face of the underpass on the Southbound track side. ​​​

Artist Bio

Artist Sharon Dowell earned her BFA in painting, Cum Laude from the University of NC at Charlotte.  Her work can be found in the corporate collections of Pricewaterhousecoopers, The Ritz Carlton, Carlisle and Gallagher Consulting, the Federal Reserve Bank and several others. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions in Charlotte, NC, Seattle, WA, Phoenix, AZ, Atlanta, GA and New York City. She has been the recipient of 5 artist residencies nationally and internationally including the United Buddy Bear artist residency in Berlin, Germany; Julia and David's Artist Colony in Ciudad, Costa Rica; The Tyron Guthrie Center in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland; NES Artists residency in Skagastrong, Iceland; and McColl Center for Visual Art here in Charlotte, NC. In addition to her studio work, Dowell has also been commissioned by the Arts and Science Council, the Cornelius Arts Center, The Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library, Triangle Transit, and the Alemannia Society to create temporary and permanent public art works.  Her 2008 Central Avenue Mural commission from the Arts and Science Council for the City of Charlotte began her public art career, adding to her already extensive list of exhibitions across the country.​​