Since its inception, the Chatham Park community in Pittsboro has operated under the slogan of “live, work, play.” True to form and true to their slogan, the Preston Development Company-owned community continues striving to bring all aspects of the local community together as they continue to expand and develop their own community as well. With a sprawling 7,068 acres, Chatham Park not only offers plenty of space for residents, but the area also offers opportunities. These new avenues that locals are able to explore include new schools, new jobs, new businesses, new homes, and a brand-new spotlight on the already blossoming art scene. Local artists, in particular, have been given new opportunity to display and hone their craft at Chatham Park and their work can be seen by all and will continue to be a large part of the community moving forward.
From the very opening stages in preparation for Chatham Park, local art and artists have been an integral part of the community’s plans. For example, most local area parks and recreation departments have on-site at parks and other outdoor facilities the typical benches, trash cans, and water tanks that one would see commonly in those type areas. While these are necessary features at a park or similar type facility, these things diminish the locations landscape and natural beauty at these locations.
Developers and planners at Chatham Park however plan on taking these elements of their parks and open space and transforming these items of everyday life into art pieces. This will create a visually pleasing atmosphere in these areas as well as giving the local artists a chance for all to see their work and be recognized as such. In addition to the items mentioned, Chatham Park also is planning these art pieces to become iconic symbols in the Pittsboro art community as infrastructure symbols such as bridges, stair towers, community building entranceways, and roadways. Signs and local bike racks have also been in planning for art pieces as well, giving the Pittsboro artists even a broader canvas on which to show off their unique and impressive work.
As for how the Chatham Park officials are selecting the artists and particular ideas for each of these structures, well, that is slightly complicated. The reason we say this is that for each of these items planned to showcase local art, a site plan ust be submitted by prospective artists. Once community officials receive each plan, they give careful consideration to all. However, each submission must also contain a “public art statement” describing how the artist envisions their art being used in the development at a given site in the community. The three main considerations that will factor into the Chatham Park team’s final decision are site design, architectural enhancements, and art placement.
Debbie Andelton, a Chatham Park team member was quoted in an article at the official Chatham Park website on the topic. “It’s a matter of embracing the artisan community that’s already here and doing our best to give them another platform,” she explained.
The initial plans for the inclusion and outlet to showcase local art was based upon Chatham Park’s five pillars of development. These are innovation, connectivity, healthy balance, quality design, and stewardship. As the community grows and continues to develop further, the two pillars that have become the main force behind the display and inclusion of area artists’ have been stewardship and quality design. A public statement given by the entire Chatham Park design team in the same aforementioned piece spoke to just this topic. “We balance the serene beauty of our natural landscape with open community spaces featuring inspiring manmade art and architecture,” the prepared statement reads.