Shaun Cassidy - Rock Hill, SC
2006 CATS Artist in Residence
Photos by Mitchell Kearney
During his residency at McColl Center for Visual Art from April to August, Shaun Cassidy designed and fabricated 40 relief leaves to be incorporated into the standard track fencing at ten LYNX Blue Line stations. His leaf selections from native Charlotte trees were transformed by the artist when he replaced the veins of each leaf with a specific station/neighborhood street map.
Once Cassidy designed a template for each leaf, he hired a metal fabricator to produce each leaf in steel. Then, CATS provided sections of their unfinished fencing for Cassidy to weld each leaf into place. The finished products were stacked on a pallet to be retrieved by CATS' general contractor and shipped to the fence manufacturer to be finished (anodized and painted black).
At McColl Center for Visual Art the community had access to the artist in his studio and in the welding shop at the Center as Cassidy worked. More than 650 people attended the Center's Open House Reception at the beginning of the residency. The local print and broadcast media visited the artist's studio and reported on his light rail project throughout the residency. The Center also provided Cassidy with an opportunity to teach a sculpture workshop to children from the Stratford Richardson YMCA during his residency as part of their community outreach efforts.
After Cassidy completed his residency and the fencing was painted and anodized by the manufacturer, the art fencing was shipped to CATS and the artist for one final stage of work before installation. Because Cassidy had specified that the top of each leaf needed to be painted green to provide definition to each leaf, CATS arranged for this final painting to be done by CATS employees at its South Tryon Bus Facility bus paint shop where the artist could oversee the process and the paint could be baked onto the art leaves. CATS' employees were meticulous and dedicated in completing the project with the artist.
Body shop technicians John Eppich and Mike Jenkins took the lead on the final painting of the art leaves viewed on the far right by the appreciative artist.
With the help of technicians Rusty Dalton and Marvin Singleton, the finished art fencing was painted, based and organized in stacks for installation at the ten light rail stations. The art fencing is at the Woodlawn, Scaleybark, New Bern, East/West Boulevard, Bland Street, Carson, Stonewall, 3rd Street/Convention Center, CTC/Arena, and 7th Street Stations.