Cornelius Arts Center unveils concept renderings

In October of 2017, we announced our partnership with two acclaimed architect firms, C Design of Charlotte, NC, and Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture of New York, NY. Since then, we’ve been busy working with architects like Rob Crane and Malcolm Holzman to determine what we’d like to incorporate into the Center.

Luckily, we’ve had some amazing developments. We’re happy to present our concept renderings, along with descriptions from Holzman. Cue the drumroll!

(Note: These are not finalized, detailed sketches of exactly what the Center will look like, but they present some very exciting possibilities.)


Concept rendering of the view from Town Hall on Catawba Avenue.

Community Arts Center: The community exhibition gallery, rehearsal and education space, and main entry promenade along Catawba Avenue announce this new cultural catalyst for the Lake Norman region. Complimenting other civic and retail structures, it welcomes children and adults to a myriad of daytime and evening programs.


Concept rendering of the view of the Center from above Oak Street Mill.

Backyard festival space: “Complimenting programs inside the Center, organized periodic gatherings celebrate special community events in an exterior park like setting. Tiered lawn and hard surfaces used regularly for parking form a general seating area for focused events on a flexible stage adjacent to the Arts Center. Film, live presentations and children’s events occur during the performance season. Seating, picnic tables, and data access allow for year-round usage.”

Concept rendering of what the interior of the Center could look like.

Cultural Promenade: “The multi-level animated space functions as an informal gathering area before and after events and as a destination with a rooftop terrace. Accessible to outdoors at three different levels it also serves as a landscaped drop off location for school groups and event goers. Complimentary planting elements unify the open spaces on adjoining sites.”


Concept rendering of theater space at future Center.

Regional Playhouse: “An open loft like space with a three-sided balcony accommodates 450 individuals for a variety of entertainment events. The flexible space permits music, theater, dance, film, conference meetings, dinners, celebrations and community gatherings to be equally presented and enjoyed. The timber roof truss system spanning the space recalls the mill buildings previously found on the site.”


Cornelius Arts Center Selected as 2018 Tate Cares Recipient

Northern Mecklenburg and Lake Norman residents are one step closer to enjoying professional dance, theater and visual arts close to home, thanks to the Allen Tate Companies.
Allen Tate recently presented a check for $6,345 to the Cornelius Arts Center (CAC), a planned arts and cultural facility in downtown Cornelius. The gift was part of funds raised by Allen Tate Realtors® and employees in its Lake Norman, Davidson and Huntersville offices through the company’s annual Tate Cares giving campaign, which benefits arts and culture and United Way organizations.

The check was presented May 3 at Allen Tate’s Annual Porch Party, on the patio adjacent to the Allen Tate office in downtown Davidson. The event celebrates the company’s commitment to its local communities and honors Tate Cares recipient organizations chosen by agents who work in the greater Lake Norman region. The Ada Jenkins Center was also honored as a Tate Cares recipient.
Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox, an Allen Tate Realtor, provided acoustic guitar music for the event.
“We are fortunate to have such a strong partner in Allen Tate Realtors,” said Greg Wessling, Cornelius Arts Center president and board chairman.
“Allen Tate’s investment in the Cornelius Arts Center furthers our commitment to the greater Lake Norman community through the building of our new arts facility and the subsequent programming, entertainment and education we will provide for this broad audience,” he said.
Justin Dionne, CAC executive director, also attended the event, along with members of the organization’s board of directors: Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam, Town Commissioner Denis Bilodeau, Kate Gaither, Jim Duke, Donna Johnson, and Carroll Gray.
“Tate Cares supports a broad spectrum of organizations that impact the quality of life in our local communities,” said Stephanie Gossett, Allen Tate regional vice president and 2018 Tate Cares chairperson. “A vibrant arts community helps drive people to the region, improving cultural and economic life at the same time.”
As part of the Tate Cares campaign, Dionne shared the CAC’s mission and future plans with three Allen Tate offices, including a presentation at the Old Town Public House, next to the future home of the CAC.
In 2013, Cornelius residents approved a $4 million bond project for downtown redevelopment, and funds were used to purchase 1.85 acres adjacent to the police station in downtown Cornelius for a future arts center. In 2017, Cornelius Arts Center was established as a 501 (c)(3), Dionne was hired as executive director, and two architectural firms were named to execute the center’s vision.

Exploring Beyond Walls at Robbins Park

Looking for public art? Beyond Walls has you covered. The inspirational public art exhibition at Robbins Park opened on May 5 and we were there to get the scoop from artists including Scott Froschauer, Jim Gallucci, Harry McDaniel and Amy Hart. We hope to bring similar experiences to the region once we open. Until then, here’s a brief rundown of the event, and  information on the sculptures and artists.

The public art project, which is coordinated by the Cornelius Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture department, had a wonderful opening event. The process involved a national call for artists, which resulted in 34 submissions. A review period followed and 11 pieces by nine artists were selected by the Public Art Committee. Marisa Pascucci, who serves on the Public Art Committee as well as the Advisory Board for Cornelius Arts Center, guided the crowd across the park to view the 11 new sculptures.

Don’t miss wandering through this exhibition, which runs through Jan. 12, 2019.

Map of art installations.

1) “Summertime Blues”

    Cathy Perry, Lewisburg, KY

Cathy Perry is an avid gardener.  She takes her love for gardening to another level by cutting, forging and welding steel to resemble the plants she loves. This piece is part of her “Lace” series.

 2) “One Way Heart” and 3) “Infinite Clearance”

      Scott Froschauer, Sun Valley, CA
Scott Froschauer

Don’t miss these important street signs! Scott Froschauer, from Sun Valley, CA., constructs aluminum street signs which use wording and design choices to give off an intentional positive vibe.

4) “Divine Wind II”

        Jim Gallucci, Greensboro, NC

Part of the piece is meant to represent flying paper, much like the paper seen drifting through the air during the fall of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The sculpture is meant to portray “disaster and how it brings people together.”

 5) “Abstract #29”

         Robert Porreca, Columbia, OH

Sculptor Robert Porreca focuses on shapes and not so much on creating recognizable objects with this work, which is made with epoxy resin and fiberglass. The green coloring makes this sculpture pop when you look across the park. Get closer and explore the piece. What do you see?

 6) “Exploratory Unit 01”

       Harry McDaniel, Asheville, NC

Inspired by H.G. Wells’ sci-fi classic, War of the Worlds, the aluminum sculpture features solar reflectors and stained glass cutouts. Harry McDaniel noted that the process for creating this piece was very spontaneous.

 7) “Tree”

     Adam Walls, Hope Mills, NC

This abstract sculpture resembles a jungle gym, but consider it a sort of nature sanctuary that is better viewed from afar. Stand back and look at the different birds perched between the cubist tree landings of the green painted steel.

 8) “Yellow Flower”

       Amy Hart, Charlotte, NC

This large flower sculpture was constructed of found materials. You can see even more of Amy Hart’s sculptures on display at the current Cornelius Arts Center exhibit, By Land…By Sea (on display through June 8, 2018).

 9) “Bear Family”

      Jim Collins, Signal Mountain, TN

This sculpture is inspired by a true bear family seen in sculptor Jim Collins’ frontyard in the Highlands. Silhouettes of a bear family are made of corten steel, while the fish is made of bronze. When you’re viewing the sculpture, see if you can find the artist’s signature.

 10) “Being Home” and 11) “Hurrying Home”

        Charlie Brouwer, Willis, VA
“Hurrying Home”
“Being Home”
 Situated across from one another in a way that looks like they could be passing a ball back and forth, these two pieces are a part of Brouwer’s “Homebodies” series. The sculptures are constructed of stained locust wood.