"The Queen City"
“The Queen City” is a collaborative mixed media painting created by the Mayor, Charlotte City Council and local artist, Leigh B. Williams. During a team building activity, the mayor and city council reflected on the different roles they often play as they lead the Queen City.
The Artwork in Process
First, the mayor and council members worked in teams to lay a solid foundation by painting the background of the various area panels. Next, they added their individual touches by painting Charlotte’s city icons, trees and children, capturing the variety and diversity of the city. Lastly, mayor and council wrote words of hope and aspiration for the city onto strips of paper.
Williams assembled the panels into the shape of a crown, collaged the icons and other images onto the panels and created a border using the strips of paper. Williams then painted connective details to unite the elements into a finished work of art that represents the exciting future of Charlotte. The mayor and city council members then signed their names on the pathway, signifying their collective “ownership” in leading the Queen City into a bright future.
The Meaning behind the Art
“The Queen City” captures the spirit of a growing, vibrant city. In the foreground, a group of young, ethnically diverse children gaze, arm-in-arm, as the city unfolds before them united in hope for a bright, shared future. The light rail travels on a solid bridge that bears the weight of all its citizenry, connecting citizens to jobs, recreation and cultural opportunities. Iconic images from the various districts within the city are interspersed throughout the painting and displayed north to south reminding us of the rich and diverse heritage that is Charlotte.
A greenway and numerous trees highlight the beautiful, open spaces available to all. The path leads the viewer’s eye from the hopeful foreground to the beautiful and unmistakable Charlotte city skyline illuminated by a bright, rising sun. Queen Charlotte holds the crown high, causing its rays to disperse and radiate throughout the city symbolizing a future that can bring hope and opportunity to every corner.