For more than 40 years, Keep Gastonia Beautiful has made it their sole mission to make our City a more beautiful place for us to live, enjoy, and be proud of. They’ve done it by planting trees & flowers; helping to keep our city clean and reminding us to likewise, recognizing homes with enviable yards, helping us to recycle and mulch, decorating our streets and public areas for special occasions; and, perhaps most importantly, teaching our children the value of preserving our environment and natural resources. Over the past 10 years, they’ve added another goal to the list: installing public art throughout our Center City to not only create attractive landmarks but also to inspire and motivate us as we visit the heart of our City.
Location: Corner of Franklin and Trenton at CaroMont Health Park Entrance Gate
Commissioned piece by Carlos González García
Dedication planned for October 30, 2022
This project was intended to be a creative way for Keep Gastonia Beautiful to showcase its Bee City USA affiliation by educating our community about the importance of bees and pollinators through public art. As we grew to know the artist the project developed to incorporate architectural features of our historical downtown buildings into the column design that would work well with the geometry of the honeycomb component. A tour of downtown Gastonia is where the inspiration for the project took wing. It was suggested to “look up” at the diverse and rich architectural elements of the historical buildings that remain on Main Street Gastonia. The artist was open to incorporating these patterns of geometry and organic building features. This nostalgia of Gastonia's main street will draw citizens and visitors alike to examine the deep and diverse culture that is Gastonia. As downtown continues to grow and revitalize it becomes more important to incorporate public art into the scene. Art has always sparked conversation that brings people together with shared experiences in a happenstance meeting that otherwise may not happen. With honeycomb geometry and Main Street Gastonia architectural elements together it begins to bring to life a vision of "Serenity" in a vibrant, colorful mosaic column creating a landmark that will spur a look to the future of Gastonia while embracing the past.
We are proud to announce that NCMoasics is the first mosaic studio to create smalti glass for mosaic projects from recycled materials. The recycled glass for this project has found its way back "home" to Gastonia through creative arts and will help educate communities about recycling and how important it is to find ways to make a difference. By combining recycling and art into this project, it has allowed Keep Gastonia Beautiful to showcase two huge parts of our mission and share our love for recycling and creating beauty out of items once considered trash.
This project was funded through a grant provided by The Carrie E. and Lena V. Glenn Foundation along with support from the Gaston Community Foundation, all funds raised from the Community Foundation Run each year are saved for our public art endeavors!
To learn more about the historical portion of this project and about the placemaking bees head over to our "Great Place to Bee" page!
Location: Corner of Garrison Blvd and Fern Forest Drive at the Greenway Parking Entrance
Commissioned art piece by Harry McDaniel
Using a tree as the basis for the design came at the suggestion of the public art selection committee to emphasize trees as a significant part of Gastonia's character and identity. As the artist explored various designs, he became intrigued by the challenge of developing a sculpture that would move in the wind. He had made many mobiles and some smaller kinetic sculptures, but this was the largest outdoor kinetic piece. A part is great location for such a sculpture due to its easy pedestrian access and variety of viewpoints. The design is a very abstract tree form, fabricated in aluminum. The "trunk" and "branches" are gracefully curved and tapered. When at rest, Ghillie Dhu’s Enchantment is a glistening tree-like form. As a breeze sets it’s “branches” in motion, the irregular, gliding movements suggest something magical. The title refers to a guardian spirit of trees in Scottish folklore. The Scottish source is appropriate to Gastonia, since many of the area’s original settlers were Scottish.
Location: Heritage Park at the corner of Second Avenue and Marietta Street
Commissioned art piece by David Wilson of Greensboro, NC
This City owned lot was approved for utilization for KGB by the Gastonia City Council as a Pocket Park. Discursus is a public art piece to remind us of the pivotal role that the railroads and the textile industry played in our past and how our past intertwines with the present to point us ever upward to our future. Local railroad ties were donated by NC DOT Rail Division. The artist, David felt these local rails would produce the very essence and spirit of this original piece. This piece speaks to the rail industry to transport people and resources from one point to another and also metaphorically for the movement of weaving “back and forth”.
Location: Located within the Gastonia Farmers Market (410 E. Long Avenue)
“Essence of honey bee and the colorful flight gathering pollen was a natural choice for the color pallet. Nature sustains all life on earth while, at the same time, providing visual beauty for all to enjoy.” – Pamela Underwood, Artist
With an unBEElievably generous grant from the Gaston Community Foundation and support by Keep Gastonia Beautiful staff, the artists were able to create this work of art that captures a segment of nature.
Location: Outside of the Gastonia City Hall, 181 S. South Street
Keep Gastonia Beautiful presented this statue to the City of Gastonia in honor of Keep Gastonia Beautiful’s 30th Anniversary on November 1, 2007.
This statue was purchased, and not a commissioned piece.
Offices for Keep Gastonia Beautiful are located at the Garland Municipal Business Center at 150 S. York Street on the second floor.
Garland Municipal Business Center
150 S. York Street, Gastonia, NC 28052
(PO Box 1748, Gastonia, NC 28053-1748)