South End shines brightly with return of interactive light display

CHARLOTTE — A stretch of the public trail that winds through the heart of Charlotte is about to get brighter when the Rail Trail Lights returns for the fifth year.

From Feb. 2-18, four never-before-seen interactive installations by local artists will be on display along the Charlotte Rail Trail in South End.

Here’s where you can find the installations:

Atherton Plaza at 2102 South Blvd. — “Up-Next” by Oliver Lewis is an interactive sculpture that resembles vintage television sets from the 1980s. The installation features 10 massive kaleidoscopes that generate mesmerizing light patterns. You can also see the “Fairy Ring Lights” on the lawn at Atherton.

Kingston Connection at 108 E. Kingston Ave. — “Oyster Corner” by HNin Nie is inspired by the beauty of nature, particularly the elegance of oyster mushrooms. The main tree of “Oyster Corner” stands 8 feet and is adorned with mushrooms that come to life through a play of lights, transitioning from soft pink to warm yellow and a radiant white glow. A mini pink tree stump that serves as the interactive heart of the installation sits next to the tree.

Flower Child at 1537 Camden Road — “Fractal Energy” by Anna G. Dean is a sculpture based on the famous visual representation of a fractal pattern and created using equilateral triangles that can be mathematically reduced so that it can be infinitely scalable. Light is the primary medium and forms and illuminates all the axes in the triangles. These will then illuminate the mirrors, and the light will appear to go on and on to infinity, as the scale shifts in each reflection.

The Pavilion at 222 E. Bland St. (across from Futo Buta) — “Leave the Light On” by J. Stacy Utley represents the homes and lives that have been affected by redevelopment. LED lights while perceived as colorful, are coded. In the 1950s and 60s, redlining maps used the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue as indicator markings to distinguish desired areas from those in decline due to a lack of resources.

Artwork is illuminated at dusk nightly.

The “flip the switch” kickoff event is scheduled for Feb. 2.

For more information about the installations and the artists involved, click here.

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