The opening and dedication of Morehead Park — the next ¼ mile section of the Downtown Greenway — a planned 4 mile walking and biking trail that will encircle downtown Greensboro, is scheduled Sunday, May 6 from 2 to 5 p.m. along the newest section of the trail between Spring Garden Street and West Lee Street, on the east side of Freeman Mill Road.
Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the NEA will be in attendance to help celebrate the dedication as will Linda A. Carlisle, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
The event will feature a progressive celebration that includes the dedication of four major works of public art, interactive mural painting, children’s activities, a bicycle ride on the Detour Route, and a party with food, drink, and music.
The public art includes the first of four cornerstone sculptures that mark major intersections along the Downtown Greenway, which will be installed at the intersection of West Lee Street and Freeman Mill Road. The “Gateway of the Open Book” by artist Brower Hatcher of Providence, RI represents the theme of Motion and will sit 22’ tall and 32’ wide. The steel matrix set on six columns is embedded with objects created by Greensboro artist Frank Russell and students from the Warnersville neighborhood including those from neighboring Jones Elementary School and Smith High School. The United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro provided a grant to support the workshops with the students. Surrounding the cornerstone is the Pat Sullivan Education Garden which honors the legacy of UNCG’s former Chancellor and highlights the importance of higher education in the city’s history.
A North Carolina Rail Road trestle that has been abandoned since the mid-1970’s has been transformed into a gallery of gates by sculptor Jim Gallucci of Greensboro, with interactive lighting effects designed by Scott Richardson of Light Defines Form. This project was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts through their Mayor’s Institute on City Design’s 25th Anniversary Initiative.
The second of twelve artist benches representing neighborhood themes will also be recognized. This seating arrangement by Ben Kastner and Toby Keeton of Wilmington consists of a concrete and iron bench and a “Tobacco” chair, both echoing the style of furnishings in the nearby Blandwood mansion, home of Governor John Motley Morehead whose property once extended to this site.
Finally, a trailhead parking area at Spring Garden Street will be embellished with a significant mural project designed and executed by Primary Flight, the nationally recognized artist collaborative based in Miami, FL. The N.C. Art Council assisted with the funding of this work. The community will have an opportunity to watch the artists at work as they paint during a three week residency at Elsewhere and will be invited to join in on the painting process as well during the May 6th event.
The Downtown Greenway is a planned 4 mile walking and biking trail that will loop around downtown Greensboro, and will encourage economic development and increase the city’s tax base. The Downtown Greenway is the signature commemorative project of the Greensboro Bicentennial. This collaboration between public and private partners will serve as a tangible connector for more than a dozen of Greensboro’s diverse neighborhoods, as well as provide access to existing trails that span the city.
For additional information, updates and progress announcements, visit www.downtowngreenway.org
Parking for the event is in the gravel lot at the intersection of Spring Garden Street and South Edgeworth Street and guests are encouraged to come early to enjoy the park.