City of Charlotte Unveils New Public Art Sculpture

Sculpture by Emerging Artist Frank Balluff Funded by LEAP and PNC Foundation Public Art Grant

LANSING, Mich.  The City of Charlotte unveiled a new sculpture funded by a Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and PNC Foundation Public Art for Communities Grant this afternoon. The sculpture is located at the corner of Lovett St. and Cochran in downtown Charlotte. Emerging young artist, Frank Balluff, was chosen to design and create the sculpture. A Charlotte native, Balluff is currently studying graphic design and marketing at Olivet College.

“When thinking about what represented the city of Charlotte I couldn’t help but be drawn to the theme of unity,” said Balluff. “Charlotte is an emerging and very strong community. I wanted to make something that represented individuals coming together to form something bigger and stronger.”

The new sculpture consists of three separate stainless steel towers that stand next to each other in a triangular layout. Each tower is made up of small figures that represent individuals of the city coming together to form a strong community. Each tower is made up of one inch cubes that are stacked on top of each other. The smallest tower stands at nine feet and the other two towers reach ten feet and eleven feet.  The variation in size symbolizes growth and diversity, while the cubes themselves also symbolize the building blocks of the city.

“We understand that our public spaces need to be appealing and attractive, just like we expect our homes, offices and other private spaces to be,” said Charlotte Community Development Director Bryan Myrkle. “Art is an important part of that effort, and we hope that this sculpture is just one of many public art installations we can look forward to in Charlotte in the future. We couldn’t be happier that this sculpture was created by a young, hometown artist, and we know he has a great career ahead of him.”

To date, 11 communities and 22 projects have received $10,000 each in LEAP funding, with additional support from the PNC Foundation. Balluff’s sculpture is the most recent addition to regional placemaking success.

“PNC has a long history of strengthening and enriching the communities it serves,” said PNC Regional President Tim Salisbury. “This outstanding program demonstrates the power of placemaking to create vibrant public spaces that reflect the unique elements of the community.”

Initiated by LEAP in 2012, the Public Art for Communities Grants program is focused on enhancing the rich arts and cultural atmosphere of the region to attract new business and talent, and to spur long-term economic growth.

“LEAP’s Public Art for Communities Grant program has been hugely successful in conveying the unique and diverse character of the tri-county area,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “LEAP, along with the support of our partner the PNC Foundation, is committed to making this region home to a global community with stellar talent and top businesses. Continuing to infuse arts and culture opportunities into every inch of our communities ensures that we speak in the global voice needed to achieve this goal.”

In 2017, LEAP seeks to add three more sculptures to the region, and is accepting requests for proposals for the next round of Public Art for Communities Grants until 4 p.m. on February 28, 2017.