Courtesy: Clements/Howcroft Photography
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Persistence of Vision

Charlotte, North Carolina

Ralph Helmick (http://www.helmicksculpture.com), Stuart Schechter (http://www.sandcartstudio.com)

Mecklenburg County Courthouse Atrium, 832 East 4th St, Charlotte, North Carolina, 28202
Owner:  Mecklenburg County
Date:  2007
Placement:  courthouses
Collection:  Arts & Science Council Public Art Program
Artwork Type:  sculpture (visual work)
Material:  metal
Description:  This project was made possible through Charlotte-Mecklenburg's 1% for Art Ordinances and overseen by the Arts & Science Council. The atrium sculpture is at once an artwork, an event, and a reflection of the community. Small portrait heads reflecting the 2000 demographic makeup of Mecklenburg County slowly move in space, one by one. Over the course of two and a half days they create a large portrait head and its reflection. During the second half of the work week the smaller components reverse course, and return to their original horizontal pool. The following week another, different, giant likeness takes shape and then dissipates. Over time an inclusive variety of citizen portraits, reflecting different ages and ethnicities, gazes down on visitors to the courthouse. The piece is an allegory for the justice system on both the individual and societal levels, it reflects the organic process of the law and the dynamism of the civilization that it serves.
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