Waynesville will dedicate its third public art project during a dedication ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Gallery 86.
The project — an artistic railing representing Waynesville’s connection with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — will be installed at the mini-park at the intersection of Main and Depot streets. Ben Kastner and Richard Coley of Wilmington will install their piece the week of Nov. 15.
The theme for the railing is “Art Connects the Parks.” This Waynesville intersection was once the location of a large arched sign indicating the direction of travel, down Depot Street, to the eastern entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The railing design contains layered mountains, handcrafted trees, a recognizable Waynesville church steeple, and in honor of the designation of the Great Smoky Mountains as the “Salamander Capital of the World,” three salamanders.
Salamander Splash, a very successful fundraising event was held June 24 at HART Theater, and the “Salamander Capital of the World” theme continued with an art auction of more than 48 custom works of art — paintings, jewelry, pottery, quilted wall art and metal made by the artists of Haywood County. The artists contributed their talent and energy to the effort to raise the $20,000 commission for the railing.
All of the $20,000 commission was raised from private individuals, area businesses and a grant from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
This is the third major public art installation in Downtown Waynesville. “Old Time Music,” at the corner of Main and Miller streets, and “Celebrating Folkmoot,” in front of the police station and development ofice, were dedicated in 2008 and 2009 respectively. All money for the artworks come from private donations.