Meet Matthew Steele, the University City artist behind the future J.W. Clay Boulevard Streetscape Project

Jun 6, 2022 | Uncategorized

On Tuesday, June 28, artist Matthew Steele will connect with University City residents in a virtual event to discuss his plans and gather insight for the City of Charlotte-funded J.W. Clay Boulevard Streetscape project. Here, Steele discusses where he is in the process, how he approaches art that is tied to place, and his own personal connection to University City.

Where are you right now with the public art project?

We’re looking at the J.W. Clay site and how the site is going to change. It’s a little complicated, because I’m designing for a space that’s going to change and I don’t know how it’s going to change. You’ve got crosswalks and poles flashing lights. You’ve got trees all along on both sides of the road, and you’ve got a power box, so there’s a lot going on in that space. I’m trying to figure out how I can make the most impact with the space in the perimeters that I have. 

You’re from Indiana. What brought you to Charlotte?

I’m originally from Crawfordsville, Indiana. It’s about an hour from Indianapolis. And after I earned my BFA at Indiana University, I came to Charlotte in 2012 for a McColl Center for Art + Innovation Artist Residency. Now I work on the gallery team at UNC Charlotte, hanging exhibitions and working with students’ work. I do a lot of the technology side of things, and I really like thinking about how people get to interact with the space. 

What’s your personal connection to University City? 

I’ve lived in University City for about five years. It’s the gateway to the greenway that I ride my bike on every day to work. So I have a vested interested in this project, not only for my own personal reasons – I’m going to see it every day and people I know are going to see it. The art will stay the same, but everybody else will change around it. Their relationship will change with it. I hope it’s something that will make people happy to see. 

What do you hope to get out of the community that will inform your work?

I’m especially interested in hearing University City residents respond to the question, What are some significant pieces of history associated with this neighborhood, personal or otherwise?

How do you approach creating art that is tied to space?

Fundamentally understanding the place and the people that are going to surround this sculpture every day is inherently valuable. My general philosophy would be any art that’s public should be site-specific. That doesn’t mean that the artist needs to be born five miles from the site. But it does mean that understanding this space and making something suitable and appropriate in that space is vital. And you can only get that through knowing it. 

Register here for the online public event.

 

0 Comments


Receive Up to Date News


Receive Economic Development News


View Past Newsletters


View Post by Category


Press Releases

University City Partners welcomes our newest board members

  University City Partners welcomes its newest members of the UCP Board of Directors: Charlotte City Manager Marcus Smith and Michael Fung, a regional leader for Wells Fargo's Corporate Properties Group. The University City Partners Board of Directors consists of...

Response to tragic police incident and unrest

Last night our community was at the center of a tragic police incident followed by several hours of demonstration, aggressive agitation and unrest. Our neighborhoods, businesses, retail centers and institutions were impacted with activity that has left us all feeling...

Introducing our UNC Charlotte interns

University City Partners is proud to introduce our "Class of 2016" - our fall semester interns from UNC Charlotte. Seniors Hollis Maye-Keye and Cagney Reeves will help us with communications and planning - key functions for our success. We encourage you to consider...

UCP video report: Planning for our transit-powered future

University City Partners has launched a new feature - a monthly video report on how we are investing time and resources to build University City. Today's report: UCP is leading a planning effort to make the area around the future JW Clay Transit station a more...

Our 2016 Annual Report chronicles a landmark year

The dramatic changes taking place across University City can be hard to keep up with - unless you have the University City Partners annual report. Our brand new 2016 University City Partners Annual Report chronicles these changes over the past year (July 2015-June...

University City Partners welcomes new board members

University City Partners welcomes four new members to its board of directors, including two UNC Charlotte grads. Tracy Dodson with Lincoln Harris, John McAlister with Electrolux, Phil Nicholenko with TIAA and Jane Wu, founder of Carolina States Regional Center, have...

Thanks for taking our survey; we heard you!

Our recent invitation to take a brief survey about University City Partners drew more than 100 participants and many useful responses. ”The survey was like a pulse check to make sure that what we are hearing in our meetings also represents the opinions of all of the...

University City Partners adds planning & development director

Tobe Holmes has joined University City Partners as its planning and development director. Holmes, formerly with Center City Partners, will oversee all UCP planning and development initiatives. At Center City Partners, Holmes managed economic and community development...

Meet our UNC Charlotte interns

One benefit of having UNC Charlotte nearby is the amazing wealth of student interns. We landed three of the best this semester: Meredith Avant (Communications with PR concentration), Miguel Avila (Economics with innovation focus), and Charles Trowell (Architecture...

UCP Annual Report: Mobilizing the New Urban Center

2015 has been exceptional for University City and University City Partners, as our fresh-off-the-digital presses “2015 Annual Report” makes clear with exclamation marks! The report chronicles the opening of I-485, rapid progress on the LYNX light-rail line, strong...

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Recieve Our University City Newsletter!
Why not have the latest news come right to your inbox?
ErrorHere