Public Art

Keep Gastonia Beautiful’s Art Committee is a citizen’s volunteer group dedicated to providing an interactive opportunity for all age groups, creating excitement and interest for the downtown community.

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.

Open to all Gaston County Residents of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to submit why "Gaston County is my home.This is a great opportunity to showcase our hometown talents.  

THEME IDEAS:  Local landmarks; places that make Gaston County great; things you can see, hear, taste, feel, touch

WHO CAN SUBMIT:  All Gaston County Residents, All ages, All talent levels, Family entries accepted, Original designs ONLY, 2 dimensional pieces only 11x17 MAX 

Deadline to submit entries:  September 30, 2022
Selection of winners:  October 17, 2022
Production and installation:  mid/late November

Art will be applied on a brick wall near the FUSE Stadium with a vinyl application.  This is deemed as a temporary art display and may be on display from 1-5 years.
**Artists will get their orignial pieces back once scanned for production.

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This project is 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 have grown to know the artist the project has developed from its original proposal and will now incorporate some of our historical downtown buildings into the column design that would work well with the geometry of the honeycomb component. This project has the potential to create a buzz of excitement and interest for the entire community and visitors to downtown. Powder coated/metal bees will “waggle” through downtown as part of a scavenger hunt. At each stop, the building featured will correspond to an architectural element featured in the mosaic piece and will highlight the building’s historical significance as well as include fun facts about bees. The nostalgia of Gastonia’s main street will draw citizens to examine the deep and diverse history and culture that is Gastonia. The “end” of the hunt will lead groups to our mosaic piece, located at the Trenton/Franklin Street entrance of the stadium. With honeycomb geometry and Main street Gastonia architectural elements together it begins to bring the original vision of a “Great Place to Bee” to life in a vibrant, colorful mosaic column creating a landmark that will spur a look to the future of Gastonia while embracing and celebrating the past. 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!



Bronze Statue
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.
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Ghillie Dhu’s Enchantment “Tree Spirit”
Location: Corner of Garrison Blvd and Fern Forest Drive at the Greenway Parking Entrance
Commissioned art piece by Harry McDaniel
Dedicated 11/9/2010

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.


Discursus “To and Fro” in Latin
Location: Heritage Park at the corner of Second Avenue and Marietta Street
Commissioned art piece by David Wilson of Greensboro, NC
Dedicated 2/23/17

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”.
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Beetopia Mural
Location: Located within the Gastonia Farmers Market (410 E. Long Avenue)
Inspiration for this mural came from the BEEtopia Zen-Tangle design (a form of meditative doodling that has abstract patterns, or tangles) that had been purchased for Keep Gastonia Beautiful. BEEtopia design is optimal for adaptation to a large, vibrant mural. The following artists generously volunteered their time and talents for this collaborative project: Tiz Johnston, Suzanne Simmons, Lisa Livengood, & Pamela Underwood.

“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.

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Offices for Keep Gastonia Beautiful are located at the Garland Municipal Business Center at 150 S. York Street on the second floor.

Contact Information:
Garland Municipal Business Center
150 S. York Street, Gastonia, NC 28052
(PO Box 1748, Gastonia, NC 28053-1748)
704.866.6067 (fax)


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