Original and innovative artworks add inspiring appeal
As a “City of Arts & Innovation,” it is fitting that Winston-Salem took an inventive approach to the structural and interior improvements of the newly reinvented Benton Convention Center. While the architects and contractors were working on the $20 million, 18-month renovations, a team of art aficionados were thoughtfully reviewing custom pieces from numerous North Carolina-based artists to select those that best reflected the city’s vibrant and edgy spirit. The Benton was the perfect, natural canvas for this bold initiative taken by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Art Commission, which curated the artwork.
“Our community has been recognized for its exceptional creative influence in everything from the visual to performing arts,” said Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem. “As a focal point in our downtown, it was critical that the reinvented Benton showcase and reflect Winston-Salem’s artistic undercurrent with bold interior design elements and artworks.
A total of 12 artworks are displayed throughout the Benton, including a Winston-Salem original, Art-o-mat®, one of 100 retired cigarette vending machines throughout the world that have been converted to vend original, handmade art.
Other uniquely fitting works include painter Nico Amortegui’s dual murals titled “We, Winston-Salem,” which tells the story of the city through vivid colors and bold visual elements, and Dennis Well’s “In Her Own Words,” an oversized pen and ink silhouette composed of quotes of the late poet and Winston-Salem resident, Maya Angelou. Photojournalist Christine Rucker’s captivating “Dance for the River – Blue Dress,” brings together dance and nature to drive awareness and educate about water conservation in the nearby Yadkin Valley. A full listing of artists is available at ReinventYourMeetings.com, while a printable brochure on the Public Art Project at The Benton is available here.
About Visit Winston-Salem
Visit Winston-Salem, the official destination marketing organization of the Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority, sells and markets our assets and attractions to visitors as a convention, events and tourism destination for the economic benefit of the community. visit winstonsalem.com