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Ask an Artist: Nancy O'Neil, Looking Forward/Looking Back
Please meet artist Nancy O'Neil
What inspired you to work on such a massive project?
I wasn't afraid to take this on because I had experience with large projects —in 2000 I did a huge glass curtain wall for the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center. And I had one prior experience with windscreens a couple of years ago in Salt Lake City. Check out my website, www.nancyoneil.com.
My work is very much about place, so a transit job with lots of stations is great for me. Each station has its own story to tell. I get to find out about all the different neighborhoods —history, culture, natural features, etc. And I get to use old maps, which I love. This kind of project provides me with a lot of good material for my collages. It’s the kind of work I like best.
I especially like making unexpected connections and weaving things together. I have respect for the past, how it affects us, and propels us into the future.
What feelings, thoughts, emotions do you want your artwork to invoke on Charlotte’s riders?
Some of the panels are more emotionally powerful than others but I think every station has something for people to think about. We will have to wait and see.
How was it working with many individuals and their passion for Charlotte’s history?
Everyone I worked with was extremely knowledgable and people were very generous with their time. All of the archives people really went the extra mile for me, and I am grateful.
What challenges did you face creating the artwork?
At times I wished I lived closer —there was an awful lot of research to do long distance!
What can riders expect?
I think people will like the colors and the overall designs. People tend to spend a lot of time looking at the photos and many people are intrigued by the maps and like to study them closely. Based on my recent experience with a series of windscreens I installed in Denver, lots of people will want to know more about what they are looking at. Once these windscreens are in place I will photograph them and put a complete Key to all of the imagery and sources on my website so that people can learn more.
What do you think of the new CityLYNX line and the artwork that will be incorporated? Tell us below and share with your friends.
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