Cary News

Cary selects Seattle artists to design art for downtown parking deck

Tom Drugan and Laura Haddad designed the mural on grain elevator and silos of Port Pier 92 in San Francisco. The mural transforms when it interacts with different colored lights. The artists have been selected to design art that will be integrated into a parking deck in downtown Cary.
Tom Drugan and Laura Haddad designed the mural on grain elevator and silos of Port Pier 92 in San Francisco. The mural transforms when it interacts with different colored lights. The artists have been selected to design art that will be integrated into a parking deck in downtown Cary. Courtesy of Haddad|Drugan

Two Seattle artists with a reputation for designing public art installations around the country will create art that will be integrated into downtown Cary’s future parking deck.

A 10-member artist selection panel chose Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan of Haddad|Drugan, a Seattle-based studio specializing in integrated environmental art for the project.

They have created numerous installations, including art integrated into large-scale infrastructure projects like stormwater utilities, transportation projects and libraries.

“Having just been selected, we haven’t yet worked out any details on when we’ll be coming out and what might be envisioned for the artwork,” Drugan said in an email. “We are very site specific in our approach and will be looking for inspiration from Cary – the community, history, natural environment, etc. We will be doing a lot of research and coming out many times.”

Members of the selection panel included members of the town’s public art advisory board, a Wake County representative and an architect with Clearscapes, the lead architect consultant for the future Wake County regional library and parking deck.

“What captured my attention was the wide variety of art and their incredible research about what was indigenous to that community, what matters to that community and incorporated that into their artwork,” said councilwoman Lori Bush, a member of the panel.

She specifically pointed to a project they did in Scottsdale, Ariz., where several Arabian horse pieces facilitate the flow of floodwater from a golf course.

“They have experience with large and small projects,” said councilman Don Frantz, who was on the artist selection panel. “They had experience working with a wide range of materials. They have done some pretty impressive projects in other parts of the country.”

Wake County will oversee the design and construction of the four-level, 350-space parking deck near the corner of Walnut Street and Kildaire Farm Road, along with its new regional library.

The design of the library and parking deck will take place this summer. Wake County plans to begin construction in the spring of 2017 and open the library during the fall of 2018.

The artists will provide three to five options for public art that will be reviewed by the town’s public art advisory board and the council this summer.

Bush said she hopes the integrated art will turn the parking deck into an “amenity,” especially since it will be built next to the future Downtown Park.

“I’m hoping for them to come up with some unique ways to make what could be a distraction from the park to actually be something that people would actually look forward to seeing,” she said.

Cary will pay an estimated $7.15 million for the parking deck plus an additional $1.2 million for a stormwater system that will serve the entire block, including the future Downtown Park. Wake County will contribute $1 million for parking.

The Cary Town Council has appropriated $180,000 to pay the artist and for other associated fees.

Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon

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