Current Projects

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BLE Sugar Creek Station

 
Early in design and during an initial site visit, artist Chandra Cox was impressed by the volume of train traffic she witnessed, as the site is located at a transportation crossroad in which 50 plus railroad trains pass by the light rail station platform daily. The types of trains range from passenger to freight, traffic she acknowledges through art elements containing symbols and imagery related to rail history. ​


As visitors approach the station from the adjacent park and ride lot, they will encounter the artist's 18’ Orb Lantern, a symbol derived from a train directional signal. The Orb will be made of painted steel planes with laser cut patterns arranged in a radial format. Glowing from above, a ring of LED fixtures will cast light down and illuminate the Orb. 

​On the station platform, the windscreen glass will be filled with text containing all of the Class I Railroads in the country arranged in a way that allows larger images of trains to appear from far away. The designs are a stunning interplay of art and technology, as the artist worked with a computer programmer to create an algorithm that translated the pixels in her photographs into text based imagery. ​​


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The metal ​column cladding covers will also be covered with text, laser cut to display several historical spellings of Sugar Creek, including sugaree, sugaw and shuger. The artist chose to display these different spellings because they indicate a vernacular history dating back to colonial America.


      

A close-up view of the artist's windscreen design showing Class I Railroad names.

The canopies are topped with finials, stacked with colored, powder coated, light gauge aluminum pieces shaped like traditional train signals. They are an assortment of railroad signals from various states and other countries, typically used in combination to give instruction: stop, caution, slow, proceed, clear, etc. While the artist's combination choices give no specific instruction, their purpose is to represent a broader railway vocabulary.






















Artist Bio

Chandra Cox is head of the department of art and design at NC State University. In addition to her exhibition and teaching credentials, Cox has received several public art commissions over the past decade. In Charlotte, her most notable projects are the Beatties Ford Road​ Metro Police Facility and CATS Rosa Parks Transit Center. Chandra earned her MFA from Ohio State University in Columbus and a BA from Hampton Institute in Hampton, VA. Cox’s architect and collaborator on this project is Susan Cole Cannon, also of Raleigh, NC.