On Friday, September 5th at 7 p.m. Storefronts Winston-Salem will hold a “Grand Unveiling Ceremony” at 104 W. Fourth Street for the first series of storefront art installations. Six storefronts on Fourth Street are being transformed into works of art.
Artists were invited to submit entries inspired by poems from the Poetry in Plain Sight program. That poetry program places poetry in visible locations, such as in city buses and downtown businesses. The organizers of Storefronts Winston-Salem decided to take that idea one step further and ask artists to design giant art pieces inspired by the poems. Poems range from a fun tale about a tea party for the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot to a poem about picking cherries. Sixteen entries were received and six artists’ works were selected. The artists are residents of Forsyth County.
The art installations will be at 104, 420, 675, and 854 W. Fourth Street, with the 104 address, also known as The Pepper Building, receiving three pieces. Participating artists are Zac Trainor, Denise Warheit, The Enrichment Center Artists, Amy Cruz, Audrey Bodek, and Katie Chasteen. Participating poets are Jaki Shelton Green, Teri Hairston, Tara Lynne Groth (whose poem was chosen by two different artists), Hilda Downer, and former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer.
The artists and some of the poets will be on hand at the Grand Unveiling. Mayor Allen Joines and other supporters of downtown businesses are planning to attend, as well.
The art installations will be on view from September 5 through October 30.
Storefronts Winston-Salem is a program of Associated Artists and is funded in part by a grant from the John W. and Anna H. Hanes Foundation.
The poems are on our website: http://storefrontsws.org/selected-artists/poems/.
104 W. Fourth Street, known as The Pepper Building (three installations):
The first art installation at this location is by Zac Trainor. Zac chose the poem “Rumors” by Jaki Shelton Green as the inspiration for his art installation. The first two lines of the poem are “What could the clouds be whispering about me?” Zac will create a working artist’s studio, with an artist figure pondering that question. The work will invite the viewer to peer through the clouds and into the studio, and beyond to the moon. In essence, becoming the whispering in the clouds.
Trainor has a BS in Computer Graphics and is an exhibiting member of Delurk Gallery and teaches at the Sawtooth School for Visual Arts. He also works on creative projects as a freelance artist and consultant.
The second installation at that location is by Denise Warheit. She is an exhibiting member of Associated Artists. Her storefront installation is titled “Spoon Lady.” Using everyday kitchen objects on a bust form, she will create her vision of the poem “A Love Song” by Teri Hairston.
Warheit works at Belk as a full-time merchandiser and has created countless window displays. Most recently she was a finalist for the Krispy Kreme “Doughnuts on Parade” exhibit.
The final installation at 104 W. Fourth Street is by The Enrichment Center Artists. At least five artists from The Enrichment Center’s Day Program will participate. The day program serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through arts-based and functional life-skills classes. The student artists will be working with art instructors Mike Lindenthal, Lauren White, Allie Bicknell, and Victoria Jackson.
The students chose the poem “Tea Time at Loch Ness” by Tara Lynne Groth as inspiration for their storefront installation. The poem imagines a tea party with Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, and Bigfoot. The design will consist of various size sheets of large, tiered, painted cardboard cutouts along with recycled paper and ceramic elements. The instructors want to showcase the varied talents of the artists at the center and the unlimited power of imagination.
420 W. Fourth Street:
The installation at this location is by Amy Cruz. Amy teaches visual art and dance seminar courses at RJ Reynolds High School and leads an art ministry at Awake Church. Art for the public is a foundation of her work. Best known around town for her large fiber installations, she will create an installation inspired by the poem “Picking Cherries Up Howell Hollow” by Hilda Downer.
In this poem glowing, ripening cherries hang from the tops of trees like “Little Rudolph noses,” calling you to climb up to pick them. Cruz’s installation includes hundreds of hanging strands of yarn, backlit with lights to create the illusion of glowing, ripening cherries.
The restaurant Hutch & Harris, located next door to this location, will be serving cherry cobbler in honor of this art piece and the poem that inspired it.
675 W. Fourth Street:
UNCSA Scenic Design student Audrey Bodek also found herself inspired by the imagery of the poem “Tea Time at Loch Ness” by Tara Lynne Groth. Audrey imagined an illustration for a book, but will layer the images, creating dimension and bringing the whimsical scene to life. She hopes to fuel the imagination of any age and leave a lingering sense of curiosity at the real story of Bigfoot and Nessie. This installation is going into a vacant storefront that is available for lease from Home Real Estate.
Bodek’s previous experience includes work as scenic designer for UNCSA’s The Winter’s Tale, scenic designer for Peppercorn’s The Viper, and working as an intern at David Korins Design.
854 W. Fourth Street:
This installation is the only one in an occupied space. Fourth Street Art & Frame offered one of their windows to the Storefronts program. This location will feature an installation by Katie Chasteen. Chasteen’s inspiration is a poem titled “Night Fishing” by Kathryn Stripling Byer, who served as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate from 2005-2010.
The installation includes vintage fishing lures hanging from mylar string. On the hooks of each lure she plans to attach long strands of cut book pages creating long, thin tendrils.
Katie is an exhibiting artist at Delurk Gallery. She received a BFA in photography from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.