New lighting fixtures are coming to the Rail Trail in South End

I Heart Rail Trail: Lights returns for a third year in March
Kyo H Nam for Charlotte Center City Partners

the I Heart Rail Trail: Lights The program, presented by US Bank, returns next month with a new series of interactive light installations. From March 4 to March 20, you’ll find the works of regional artists along the pedestrian path parallel to the LYNX Blue Line light rail. You may have seen past installations (shown in this story) all over social media during the first and second years of the program, as this is an outdoor, kid-friendly and engaging activity that is coming every spring in the neighborhood since 2020.

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Kyo H Nam for Charlotte Center City Partners

Here is a list of the artists chosen for this year’s installations, curated with Lauren Harkey of gallery and consultancy Hodges Taylor:

  • Charlotte artists Luvly Moon and Arko collaborate on an experience at 1100 South plaza (1100 South Blvd.). Their immersive piece, “Ze Portal”, is intended as a place for pedestrians to stop and meditate, a change of pace in this bustling urban environment.
  • Oliver Lewis, a creator and inventor known as “The Robot Artist”, will erect his work “Sweet Dreams” at the RailYard (1414 S. Tryon St.). The work takes the form of three oversized night lights, playing with light and shadows in an improbable space.
  • Sculptor Meredith Dallas and design-build firm ACSM Inc. work together on ‘Garden of Light A Wish for the Future’ at Dilworth Artisan Station (118 E Kingston Ave.). These massive dandelions create “an abstract garden of light” that invites viewers “to make a wish for their future.”
  • Textile artist Kat Sanchez Standfield and graphic designer-animator Caleb Roenigk add vitality to the Atherton Mill Lawn (2000-2140 South Blvd.) with their installation. “Movimientos Illuminados (Illuminated Movements)” uses Sanchez Stanfield’s massive “noodle” sculptures to create an interconnected arch above the pedestrians. The designs are illuminated at night, adding to the theme of connection.
  • Nearby, the husband-and-wife team behind Kiik Create bring their wild sculptural work to the Atherton Mill Plaza (2000-2140 South Blvd.). “EFT: Night Shift” is comprised of six brightly painted graphic sculptures activated at night by black-light LEDs. The facility can be thought of as a “human energy charging station”, where each token serves as a visual icon.
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Kyo H Nam for Charlotte Center City Partners

I Heart Rail Trail exists through a partnership between the Charlotte Rail Trail, Charlotte Center City Partners and US Bank: Year-round programming like this program activates the 3.5-mile linear park and makes it a family-friendly destination. Prior to sponsoring the initiative, US Bank contributed $1 million towards the planned construction of a pedestrian bridge that will connect the South End and Uptown portions of the Rail Trail in 2019. You can read more about the I Heart Rail Trail: Lights program here.

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Kyo H Nam for Charlotte Center City Partners


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