Lead Artist: Jack Mackie
Contributing artists: Elizabeth Brim, Courtney Dodd, Ingrid Erickson, Loretta Forde, Nick Fruin, Robert Johnson, Robert Levin, Foxfire Metalworks, Kenny Pieper, David Wilson, Hayden Wilson
Burnsville was one of the first SmART community participants with the N.C. Arts Council. Together, they developed a plan to build a community gateway that celebrated the local glassblowing tradition and the nearby Bare Dark Sky Observatory, home to the largest public telescope in the state. The first piece of the gateway - a large blown glass telescope - was installed pre-pandemic. Then work on the project shut down. A partnership with the N.C. Department of Transportation stalled, also, and local leaders were uncertain if they could afford to continue to invest in the project. The Rural Arts Engagement Grant program created an opportunity to finish a scaled-back gateway for the community. DNCR and the Arts Council re-engaged with DOT, which plans to complete its part of the project by fall 2023. Lead artist Jack Mackie has developed a plan to reimagine the gateway with the work that is in place and existing glass. The City of Burnsville has endorsed the updated plan, as well as the DOT public art committee.