Artist Jackie Chang looked to the influence of JW Clay, the geographer and traveler for whom the boulevard is named, when designing the station art elements. The artist is fond of blending text and images in her work, so for this station she decided to incorporate the words ‘Here’ and ‘There’. For the artist, here signifies one’s current location and there indicates a horizon, a distinction summarized by laying the word ‘Here’ in the pavement and printing ‘There’ in windscreens above horizon lines of North Carolina landscapes. She developed her ideas for both the University City Boulevard Station and the JW Clay Station, which bookend the University City area, as a CATS Artist-in-Residence at McColl Center for Visual Art during the summer of 2012.
While in residence in Charlotte, Chang repeatedly observed the compass rose: at the Queen Charlotte sculptural fountain at the airport, the UNC Charlotte student union plaza, and the logo of the University Place shopping complex, to name a few. She borrowed the symbol for her designs, choosing to insert it in a plan for a platform inlay, a 29’x14’ area that will repeat beneath all three canopies. ‘HERE’ will be inlaid into a reddish brown concrete along with a section of a contour map of Charlotte, an homage to geographer JW Clay. The inlays will be laser cut from ¼” thick stainless steel plate and thread plates will be used for the letters of ‘HERE’ and large arrows of the compass rose.