ARTivity On The Green Opens In Winston-Salem

June 1, 2015

Frank L. Blum Construction Company recently completed Winston-Salem's first "art park," ARTivity on the Green, which opened with the goal of turning a parking lot near the Downtown Arts District into a green space full of creative installations evocative of the city's industrial past.  Designed by STITCH Design Shop and situated on Liberty Street between Wake Forest University's Innovation Quarter, a hub for biomedical science and tech development, and the Downtown Arts District, the half-acre park's focal point is red "smokestacks" that will lead visitors into the park, light up at night and create mist formations.  The project was funded by local nonprofitArt for Arts Sake (AFAS) on a budget of $2 million. In addition to art installations and sculptures, the space also showcases a heavy use of steel (again, to evoke the city's industrial past) with steel benches resembling sawhorses, in addition to standard spaces for lounging and picnicking.  The park also has a large wall that will serve as a canvas for murals by local artists. Ten mural artists will begin working now that the park has officially opened.   "We wanted to create a space that speaks to Winston-Salem's reputation as 'The City of Arts and Innovation,'" said Harry Knabb, chairman and chief executive of AFAS, "while at the same time paying tribute to its industrial, tobacco-and-textiles past."  From inception to ribbon-cutting, blueprints to construction, the project used local vendors.  "The Liberty Street area is the next frontier of development in the area. This is leading the way along that corridor. It is going to bring a much-needed sense of activity," said Councilman Derwin Montgomery. "ARTivity is going to be symbolic of the art and activity that will be happening there, which in turn will lead to much more happening in the area."

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