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The Burnsville Gateway

Image provided by the North Carolina Arts Council

The Burnsville Gateway is a project of Toe River Arts, the Town of Burnsville and public artist Jack Mackie to create iconic gateways that reflect Burnsville’s history and craft traditions. A series of stunning glass telescopes will mark the east and west entrances of Burnsville. Inspired by the town’s namesake, Captain Otway Burns, who used a telescope at sea, the gateway also celebrates Yancey County’s designation as one of the world’s International Dark Sky communities.

Under the direction of artist Jack Mackie, renowned regional artists have collaborated on the design and creation of the colorful glass telescopes. With its proximity to Penland School of Craft, the Toe River region has one of the highest concentration of craft artists in the country. The three west telescope markers will draw their colors from Appalachian sunsets, while the three east telescope markers (see left) will echo Appalachian sunrises. Each will be illuminated with LED lights that will glow at night. Other artful elements will be installed along Highway 19E as construction is completed, complimented by native trees and flowering plants.

The Burnsville Gateway project is part of the North Carolina Arts Council’s SmART Communities Program which invests in arts-driven economic development and creative placemaking projects that celebrate the unique character of North Carolina communities. There are seven SmART Communities across the state and each represent partnerships of arts, government, business, economic development and nonprofit leaders that co-design transformative arts projects to support growth and civic engagement.

What is a SmART community? One broad definition is that these are communities that use their distinctive arts and cultural assets to revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns, instill a strong sense of place and pride in residents, attract creative workers and cultural visitors, and create sustainable economic development.

A second project of the Burnsville Gateway plan is engaging regional artists to create traffic light pole wraps at five major intersections along 19E. The pole wraps will be laser cut from aluminum and powder coated with designs inspired by local flora and fauna. The pole wraps will be installed in the summer of 2020.

Lead Artist: Jack Mackie
Contributing artists: Elizabeth Brim, Courtney Dodd, Ingrid Erickson, Loretta Forde, Nick Fruin, Robert Johnson, Robert Levin, Foxfire Metalworks, Kenny Pieper, David Wilson, Hayden Wilson

Toe River Arts, in collaboration with the Town of Burnsville and the North Carolina SmART Communities program, has partnered with Yancey County, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Yancey County Economic Development Commission (EDC), and many community partners, businesses, and residents. Additional support provided by:

NC Arts Council

Susan Martin | Ron Powell | Rita Ann Meeks | Gary Perko | William Baker | Armin Wessel | Wanda Proffitt | Katherine Owens | Jeanne Tyner | Frances Strawn | Bunnie McIntosh | Jack Mackie | Carl Peverall | Greg Yuzik | Betty Ann & Earl Young | JM Wallace | Don Walker | Martha Tyner | Harrison Tyner | Willis Ryan | Sherry Robinson | J. Alan Ray | Julia Norris | Patricia McIntosh | Carl & Bill McCullom | Kate Vogel & John Littleton | Ginger Johnson | Carolyn Guthrie | James Gentry | Christiana Gallant | Barbara & Bill Miller | Norman Rabek | Kat Turczyn | Robin Smith | Marobeth Reugg | Berverly & William Mann | Karen Magner | Deborah D’Aquin | Denise Cook | Theresa Coletta | Juanity Brown | Joan Glynn | Ellen Denker

Would you like to help fund this project?

Please specify in the notes section of the Paypal form that your donation is for the Burnsville Gateway.