Art In Transit

​​​​​Previous Education and Outreach Projects

McColl Center for Visual Art – CATS Artists-in-Residence

In 2004 CATS began sponsoring an artist residency at McColl Center for Visual Art in uptown Charlotte to provide a commissioned artist with significant community access during the artist's process of conceiving and incorporating art into a transit project.   McColl Center for Visual Art is an urban art center that encourages the advancement of creativity through artist residencies, exhibitions, education, and outreach. The artist residency program offers a unique setting for community engagement with artists.  While in residence, artists are provided with studio space, 24 hour access to the Center' state-of-the-art facility, materials stipend, and out of town artists are also provided with housing.  Ongoing exhibitions at the Center, Open Studio Saturdays, special events, and workshops provide the public and the artist opportunities to make meaningful connections.

Shaun Cassidy, 2006

North Davidson Construction Fence Mural Project
                                         Materials Provided by CATS                                  Community Participants at MCVA                                  Community at MCVA
In the fall of 2009 when McColl Center for Visual Art was holding its annual Community Day at the Center, CATS offered to fund and supply all materials for the creation of a community mural if the Center would provide work space, an artist to facilitate the project and community members to paint 60 four by eight plywood panels needed to surround CATS North Davidson Maintenance Facility construction site.  The staff at the Center quickly agreed and provided resident artist Darren Goins to manage the project.  CATS' contractor delivered the 60 sheets of plywood to the Center in time for Community Day. 

On September 26, 2009, approximately 200 children and adults attended Community Day and worked with artist Darren Goins painting 41 of the 60 panels in spite of rain.  
After Community Day, to ensure that the remaining 19 plywood panels were painted, CATS and MCVA agreed to provide support to Darren Goins to complete the construction fence mural.   The mural was installed by CATS' contractor, Clancy & Theys on December 4, 2009 and the mural will remain for the duration of construction.​
                        Artist Darren Goins

Panels awaiting installation                                          Panels panted by the artist and community on display along N. Davidson St


UNC Charlotte – Cultural History Project

  CATS and the UNC Charlotte Public History Department became partners in 2008 on a class project entitled "History at Light Speed: Discovering Charlotte's Northeast Corridor."  Conceived by Dr. Karen Cox, professor and director of the Public History department, the project involved 12 graduate students in history and architecture.  The students were asked to explore the cultural histories of five neighborhoods along the Northeast Corridor, the future light rail corridor for CATS LYNX Blue Line Extension.  Ultimately, the students presented the results of their research, including their storyboards and shelter models to CATS and the general public at an exhibition held at The Art House in the NoDa neighborhood May 1, 2008.  The research document and support materials now serve as historical and cultural resource information for the selected Blue Line Extension artists, providing them with potential content and inspiration for the art.
Kristin Foster, graduate student, UNC Charlotte Department of Public History    
 Dr. Karen Cox (L) with former CATS CEO Keith Parker and AiT Program Administrator Lyndsay Richter


Arts & Science Council, The Light Factory - Art in Motion
11" x 28" bus placards

Temporary art projects are an effective way of providing a collaborative experience between artists and a segment of a community.  Art in Motion was an opportunity to transform CATS buses into moveable art galleries, connecting the art with the local community and enlivening the passenger experience.

Nine works of art featuring the photography of Charlotte area students and poetry from local writers appeared inside CATS buses in 2003 for Art in Motion, a collaborative project between the Arts & Science Council, CATS, and The Light Factory that incorporated art in to the transit system.

Working with the theme Connecting Charlotte Communities, The Light Factory sponsored two summer workshops under the direction of a professional photographer to teach local children, ages 8-12, how to shoot their own photographs.  The children photographed images of Charlotte – its people, neighborhoods, and familiar places.  The Arts and Science Council invited nine local poets to respond to the children's photographs with three to five lines of verse.  CATS reproduced the text and images on 11" x 28" bus placards and exhibited the art on CATS buses in 2003.

All participants in the project represent the Charlotte area.  The student photographers featured were Jonathan Kear, Michael Weller, Caroline Young, Sydney Hale and Eric Hale.  Poetry was included from Kevin Bezner, Linda Calabrese, Maureen Griffin, Irene Honeycut, Rickey Hood, Don Mager, Grace Ocasio, Ruth Sloan, and Chuck Sullivan.​