28th/31st Avenue Connector Public Art Project
Art work on the railroad bridge enhances the appearance of the 28th/31st Avenue Connector. In addition, six artist–designed transit shelters have been constructed. The Metro Arts Commission solicited proposals from artists nationwide and completed a selection process.
Artist David Dahlquist from Des Moines, Iowa was selected to develop the artwork for the bridge and for two of the six transit shelters. Mr. Dahlquist has decorated the bridge railing using quilting as a meaningful metaphor for building community. The two transit shelters near the 31st Avenue bridge approach extend this theme using giant needles to form a gateway to the Connector.
The other four transit shelters, located at the 28th and Charlotte intersection, were done by artist Kevin Berry from Phoenix, Arizona. The shelters have a design directly inspired by iconic elements found in both Centennial and Hadley Parks.
A public art workshop took place on Thursday, December 1, 2011, for members of the community to help create inspiration for public art to be displayed on the Connector Project. The workshop was held at Hadley Park Community Center. A follow–up presentation took place on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. At that meeting, Metro Arts staff showed the audience how the individual suggestions had been transformed into quilt panels to be used in the art project.
Metro’s contractor assisted the artists by installing the quilt panels along with the bridge safety fence, and constructing concrete foundations for the bus shelters. The contractor and the artists cooperated on an aggressive schedule to finish the art work in time for the Connector grand opening.
Creating Connections Art Contest
This contest offered children at the Hadley and Watkins Community Centers an opportunity to explore their creative minds and engage in a large-scale community project. Metro Parks and Recreation and Metro Public Works staff members went to the Hadley and Watkins Community Centers and gave a presentation to the children by showing renderings of the new Connector and discussing the importance of the Connector in terms of social, economic, and environmental factors. The theme “Creating Connections” highlights the meaning of the new 28th/31st Avenue Connector for our city. Specifically, children artists worked with Metro Parks and Recreation staff and were asked to imagine what the 28th/31st Avenue Connector will look like, and why will it make Nashville an even better place to live, work, and play.
Judging and Prizes
3 winners each were selected from Watkins and Hadley Community Centers; 1 winner in each of the following categories for a total of 6. Each winner received a $25 gift card and art work was on display at the 28th/31st Avenue Groundbreaking on May 24, 2011.
- Best Representation of Theme
- Most Creative
- Best Vision for Nashville