Stunning Statues in Charlotte
While in Charlotte I was struck and surprised by the many stunning statues and sculptures that I found around every corner. Some of these statues and sculptures where historic, some playful and others thought provoking. The following are some of the stunning statues in Charlotte that I found.
The two stacked book sculptures that mark the entrance to The Green, the literary themed park, were some of my favourites and I was able to see them every day. In the mornings and evenings was the best time to see these bronze books as they glow in the sunlight.
Another large bronze sculpture is the Il Grande Disco. This large, coin-shaped piece was created by Italian sculpture Arnaldo Pomodoro. The Il Grande Disco is located in front of the Bank of America Plaza and it has a sister piece that is in Milan, Italy.
Located in front of the Wells Fargo Plaza in a cascading fountain is a group of playful statues of children by Dennis Smith and David Wayne. You couldn’t help but reminisce about childhood while standing there in front of it.
Another playful group of sculptures that are also literary themed are the large outdoor sculptures in front of ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center, a learning center for children. Called ‘The Writer’s Desk’ by Larry Kirkland, these sculptures range from the keys on a type writer to stamps and pencils to a tower of books with a beautiful bronze quill pen atop that caught the sun’s rays that made me think of enlightenment. To inspire you more, on the pencils and stack of books are an array of quotes, one of my favourites being:
“To each of our children
I wish to bequeath two characteristics
The capacity for independence
The ability to love
Much of life is lonely
Most decision-making is lonely
Independence of mind is the best insurance for a rewarding journey.”
Throughout the city of Charlotte you’ll find various statues celebrating important people. One of which was of someone I hadn’t heard of before – Captain Jack. This stunning statues of Captain Jack riding on a beautiful horse with it’s mane blowing in the wind atop water can be found along the Trail of History in Little Sugar Creek Greenway. This statue was the first statue of Charlotte’s Trail of History and is called The Spirit of Mecklenburg and depicts Captain Jack who was a legendary figure for his famous ride to Philadelphia carrying the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and a set of resolves to the 1775 meeting of the Continental Congress. Another is a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. that looks out over Marshall Park. Then there’s the statue of Queen Charlotte that depicts her with her dogs in a garden. Charlotte was founded in 1768 and was named for Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III of England. She stands regal looking out over Charlottes Uptown, and I have to admit standing in front of her I held back the urge to curtsey.
One statue that I happened to stumble upon really ended up leaving a mark on me. Standing in front of the Central Piedmont Community College campus’s Overcash Academic and Performing Arts Center is a stunning bronze statue by Greg Wyatt called Aspire. I was in awe. A massive bronze angel, with its wings outstretched, reaching to the sky made me think of reaching for the stars and living life to the fullest.
Another remarkable statue was ‘The Firebird’, a large, 17 1/2 foot tall ‘whimsical bird-like’ statue that was covered in pieces of mirrored glass. ‘The Firebird’ stands in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and appears to stand guard over it’s treasures. It’s truly beautiful to see on a sunny day as ‘The Firebird’ catches the rays of sunlight and sparkles.
Charlotte’s main and historic square at Trade and Tryon is where you’ll find four more statues, each on a corner, facing in. Each statue is symbolic of Charlotte’s past, present and future. One represents commerce, another transportation, the next industry and the last – future!
If you enjoy symbolism, art and pieces that speak and herald history then keep an open eye for a stunning sculpture or statue that might be around your next turn.