TRAC has been working with the Town of Burnsville, the Burnsville Public Art Design Board and the Burnsville Planning Board with direction from public artist/planner Jack Mackie, public art consultant Denise Dickens and officers from the NC Arts Council, Deputy Director Nancy Trovillion and Creative Economies Director Chris Beacham on this project. Here’s a preview of the Draft.



Designer and national known public artist/planner Jack Mackie, who has worked closely with the Toe River Arts Council, the NC Arts Council, NC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the community, is working with local artists to fabricate glass elements. Implementation of the project on US Highway 19E will begin in the fall of 2017. The Gateway project is a key part of the NC Arts Council’s SmART Initiative for Burnsville that focuses on arts-driven economic development strategies to build stronger economies and communities.

The proposed artwork will showcase the work of local resident, regional, and national artists that will tell the story of Burnsville and reveal its treasured inventiveness, artistic heritage, rural mountain setting, and vision. The artwork will highlight our community’s unique characteristics: its artists, the Dark Sky designation, its minerals and stone, the seven of the mountain peaks east of the Mississippi that are over 6,000 feet, and Burnsville’s and Yancey County’s history, culture, and people.

The art will be both beautiful and practical. We envision artist designed benches, beautiful walkways and lighting, and other streetscape elements as well as dramatic artwork that will draw visitors and residents to our Town. Also, art and aesthetics will positively impact the economy and the community. We foresee a stronger and more vibrant downtown with more restaurants, galleries, increased entertainment options, and more downtown residents. Working with Healthy Yancey, the artistic vision will encourage walkability and more physical activity. We will build a strong arts market that will increase income for both Yancey and Mitchell County artists.

Toe River Arts Council, in collaboration with the Town of Burnsville and the NC Arts Council SmART Initiative, has partnered with Yancey County, NCDOT, Yancey County Economic Development Commission (EDC), and many community partners, businesses, and residents.

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