ARTivity History

“ARTivity On The Green” is an art-themed park located on Liberty Street, between 6th and 7th Streets, in downtown Winston-Salem.  It was conceived as an Art For Art’s Sake (AFAS) project, designed by the STITCH Design Shop, built by the Frank L. Blum Construction Company, and funded by the Thomas J. Regan Jr. Foundation.   Construction started in December of 2014, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was on May 9, 2015.

ARTivity On The Green expands the Art District and connects it to Innovation Quarter.  It brings energy back to a section of downtown that had been forgotten, with features intended to inspire visitors visually and physically.  The park features central water misting towers, a bandstand, a mural wall, and rolling grassy hills. All of this is lit at night, and the lights on the towers and bandstand change colors.

ARTivity On The Green has six entrances marked by red ground lines.  The lines meander on city sidewalks of the Liberty St. / Trade St. / 6th St. / 7th St. block and climb onto the sides of buildings.  They culminate at thirteen red towers called the “Tower Cloud” in the center of the park.  The towers are different heights to mimic the shape of the R.J. Reynolds building (now known as the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel), and during warm months emit a water mist as a tribute to Winston-Salem’s industrial past.  The bandstand consists of seven steel ribbons that represent the notes of a musical octave.  The bandstand also features seats at the ends of some ribbons and artist easels at the ends of other ribbons.  “ARTivity After Dark” concerts are performed at this bandstand, as well as concerts during “Arts On Sunday” artist festivals.   The mural wall features area artists, and is repainted each Spring during a festival called “Concrete Canvas”, so the art changes yearly.   The rolling grassy hills pay homage to the foothills of the Piedmont, and offer comfortable places to sit and play.

Interesting details about ARTivity On The Green
• The towers mist every half hour, for three minute intervals, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.  They are turned on when the weather warms in April, until cold weather comes at the end of October.

• Why are there thirteen towers?  Due to the pattern of the red ground lines.  Each of the six lines entering the park split into three parallel lines.  The center lines meet at the center tower.  The outside lines lead to benches and thresholds (tall archways), and then end at individual towers – so with six original lines branching off into these pairs we needed twelve towers at their ends.

• The towers are positioned to align with a traditional design feature of Winston-Salem:  on a straight line from the R.J. Reynolds Building through Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University and on to Pilot Mountain.

• Each threshold marks a gravel breakout space used for tent locations during festivals.  They may hold sculptures in the future.

• The ribbons of the bandstand can be used as whisper dishes.  If people sit on opposite seats of the same ribbon (facing the ribbon) they can converse even at a whisper.

• The Mural wall was built to provide a dynamic place to display art as well as to retain soil used to build the rolling hills at that side of the park.

• There are art designs on the sidewalks that can only be seen when it is wet.

ARTivity On The Green can be scheduled for concerts and festivals.  Please inquire with the contacts listed on this web site under “ARTivity After Dark” or the “Contact” tab.  Due to our insurance restrictions please no alcohol, weapons, skateboarding, politics or religion.

Photos from inception to grand opening of ARTivity on the Green

Click a picture for a larger view and to scroll through the gallery.
Photography by Doug Rice Photography.