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Public and Cultural Arts Office


140 West

Art Area I: Mikyoung Kim
Art Area II: Gordon Huether

April 2013

The intersections of West Franklin, West Rosemary, and Church Streets, Chapel Hill, NC
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140 West is a three-section building complex combining condominiums, retail, and parking constructed by Ram Development Company on approximately 1.73 acres located in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the intersections of West Franklin, Church, and West Rosemary Streets.

Ram Development Company dedicated one percent of the overall project budget to public artwork.  Public landscape artist Mikyoung Kim was selected to develop an arts master plan for the site that responds to the life cycles of light and water - phenomena that highlight the sense of place in Chapel Hill.  The Plan identifies two areas for public art:  Art Area I and Art Area II.  

For Area I Kim created Exhale:  a sculpture of folded, layered and perforated stainless steel skin that emanates light and fog through its textured surfaces. ExhaleThe fog when activated rolls from one end of the sculpture to the other. The imbedded computer-programmed LED lights intermittently create waves of color across the sculpture’s surface. The artist-designed plaza paving and other hardscape elements compliment the sculpture by repeating the curvilinear flow of Exhale throughout the plaza. According to the artist: "Exhale moves beyond art as object, and suggests transition, interaction, and activation - a place to observe people on the plaza, making them an active, integrated part of the art piece." 

For Art Area II Gordon Huether created a large wall-mounted artwork on the north patio on the Rosemary Street side of the block called Tar Heel Blues.  Tar Heel Blues is inspired by the blue skies and tree-lined streets of Chapel Hill, the connection between the Town and the University, and the Town’s commitment to sustainability.  Stacked metal boxes, some with abstract depictions of tree branches abraded into recycled and lacquered metal, create geometric forms that add depth and rhythm. The red is added to give vitality and contrast to the composition, but also represents the sunlight filtering through the trees. 



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