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Monday, July 22, 2019

Fayetteville, NC - The "Work In Progress III" Exhibition And More

My daughter, Lisa, and her husband always have so many exciting things to tell us every time they get back from one of their vacations in Fayetteville, NC so when Lisa invited me and Soko to join her to take in a baseball game there, we didn’t hesitate to say yes!   I was very curious to see this city for myself.  My expectations were very high and now that we have returned from our visit, I can tell you that I can’t wait to visit here again.

My first thought, as we drove into downtown Fayetteville, was that the city should be nick-named “City of Sculptures” because around every turn we spotted one.  I have nick-named our Florida hometown, Lake Wales, “City of Murals” because of the 21 amazing murals we enjoy every time we get a chance to walk around downtown.  The murals in our city were a part of a beautification project for the downtown area.  We had to know what the sculptures were all about in this city and why were many of them numbered?  

So off to the Arts Council we went.  We found out, from the lovely hostess there, that the numbered, 14 to be exact, sculptures we were seeing throughout the town, were part of the Work In Progress III exhibition.  It's a temporary public art exhibition, a gift to Fayetteville, and is funded through private donations and Arts Council funding.  She told us about how this was the third year of this project.  Then she gave us a map and information sheet.  Before we headed out into the city, we enjoyed the interesting art in the Arts Council building.  Recycling was the theme of the art projects and we loved the fun displays the artists created.

We had seen a few of the sculptures, in the exhibition, as we strolled around downtown Fayetteville the day before.  We found out, after we received our map, that we saw about half of them so we set out to find the ones that we missed.   I am happy to say that we found them all and had a great time exploring the city at the same time.

#1.  Skyward by Ben Pierce
Arts Center, 301 Hay St.

#2.  Ice Pops by Craig Grey
Cross Creek Commons

This was our favorite and was created by a young, local artist.
#3.  Process by Christian Happel
300 Hay Street

#4.  Eagle by Noelio Gonzalez
City Hall

#5.  Friends by Nnamdi Okonkwo
City Hall

#6.  Winged Glory by Jack Howard-Potter
Bragg Boulevard

#7.  Flat Lander by Richard Pitts
Festival Park

This sculpture we saw every time we passed it coming or going to our hotel, but we never had a chance to stop.
#8.  Midsummer by Hanna Jubran
St. James Square
#9.  Old School by Wayne Vaughn
Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

I was so thrilled that I was able to take a picture of this sculpture as the sun was setting behind it!
#10.  Sunrise, Sunset by Jordan Parah
Historic Courthouse

11.  Sundown/Off Belay by Joe Coates
Historic Courthouse

Another favorite of mine just happens to be by the same artist as our other favorite.
#12.  Guardian by Christian Happel
Market House NW Corner

#13.  Rabbits by Jonathan Bowling
Public Plaza

#14.  Dream Home by Jordan Krutsch
Anderson Street

We had fun on our quest to find the collection of sculptures in the exhibit.  We also found lots of permanent art along the way.  The Venus flytrap, on our cover photo above, looked very familiar to us.  We asked the Art Council hostess about it and found out that this piece was part of the first Work in Progress exhibition and it was so well liked that the city bought it.  The artist is Paul Hill who is from Wilmington, she told us.   Wilmington just happens to be our NC hometown.  I checked and found out that the Venus flytrap me and Soko pass every night on our evening walks downtown, is indeed the work of Paul Hill.  He calls the one in Fayetteville, Natural Embrace and the one in Wilmington, Southern Hospitality.

Southern Hospitality by Paul Hill
Wilmington, NC

We found sculptures and statues everywhere in Fayetteville, and a mural that was bigger than any of the murals in Lake Wales.

One of the most incredible pieces of art we saw as we walked around downtown Fayetteville, was the Tree of Good and Evil created by Charles Pilkey.  First of all, it was very large and secondly, the detail work was really interesting.  We had to take a few minutes to see all of it.

And there was even art that I was able to be a part of.

There is so much to see and do in Fayetteville and even though we spent 3 days and 2 nights here, we didn't see everything we wanted to.  One place we did get to, though, was North Carolina Veterans Park.  The public art here is to honor and acknowledge North Carolina's veterans.  The pieces were very moving, especially the hand castings displayed on columns, one for each of the 100 counties in North Carolina.

These were only some of the amazing works of art we found in this city.  And the art was only a small part of what we enjoyed during our time here.   Fayetteville, NC had everything we could wish for when we are on vacation.  From parks with hiking trails, museums, unique and delicious food to very friendly people, this city has it all and more.  And because most of the things on our to-do list were free, it was a vacation that fit our retirement budget!

Look for our blog post, coming soon, to find out more about the many things to do, see and eat in Fayetteville, affectionately known as America's Hometown!


  1. Wow, incredible sculptures and art! I love that it was spread all thru the town, what a great way to see all parts of the city! It sounds like a great place to visit with so much to see and do!

    1. It was more than I have ever seen in one city before!

  2. I just love looking for street art and sculptures when visiting new towns/ cities!

    1. Then you would really enjoy a visit to Fayetteville, NC!

  3. What amazing artwork, I was going to pick a favorite but I just couldn't because there were too many great ones! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. I had two favorites. I would not be able to to pick only one either!

  4. WOW! These are amazing! My fave is #5.

    1. Yes! That was one of the best ones. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 2! Shared ♥

  6. How interesting! I love going on these types of tours!

  7. Oh wow, these art displays and the sculptures are absolutely amazing! Now I want to visit Fayetteville! There are so many amazing places to visit and so little time. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I agree! That's what's so great about all the blogs out there. If you can't get everywhere physically, you can get there virtually!

  8. Wow, what cool sculptures! I love city art. I especially liked that one with the jeans and the lamp post artist. Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home! --Jennifer

  9. I have never visited Fayetteville, Cathy, but I would definitely like to based on this post! What a gorgeous, creative place! I love how you were even able to become part of the art. Thank you so much for sharing with the Hearth and Soul Link Party!

  10. Aren't sculptures fun>! I admit there are some I've seen that had me wondering...but maybe that's part of the point. Love your angel wings!! I think that was my fave, and I liked the southern hospitality one a lot, too. Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday! Sounds like you had a great time.


    1. You look at sculptures the same way I do! Thank you so much for stopping by and for hosting your nice party!

  11. Wow, thanks so much for this story about Fayetteville. You've captured one of the things we love soo much about living here.
    Melody Foote (from the CVB)

    1. We had such fun and really enjoyed this exhibit. I will definitely make plans to come back if Work In Progress IV happens next year!