The City of Mauldin’s Office of Cultural Affairs created the Mauldin Public Art Trail in December 2014. This program seeks to beautify the community with public art displays created by South Carolina artists.
The Public Art Trail lines the perimeter of the outdoor amphitheater at the Mauldin Cultural Center. A new work will be commissioned each year to fill the nine pre-approved sites along the perimeter, with the goal that all nine sites will be filled within ten years. For each year after the first ten years, the oldest installation will be replaced, resulting in a new slate of nine pieces of artwork every ten years. Retired artworks will be relocated to other areas around the community.
Each year, the City opens an RFP for interested artists. Selected artists must be residents of South Carolina through the duration of the project. The selection committee chooses two finalists who will then be asked to develop conceptual designs. A final artist will be selected for the project completion. The total budget for the annual program is not to exceed $15,000 and must be inclusive of fabrication, artist fees, and installation.
All questions should be directed to the Mauldin Cultural Center at [email protected] or 864.335.4862.
2021 Artist Announced: Carey Morton
This year’s artist is Carey Morton, a sculptor with experience building steel artworks. Morton earned his MFA concentrating in sculpture from Clemson University in 2018, having completed his undergraduate degree at Winthrop University.
The theme “Heroes and Leaders” was selected in the wake of COVID-19. We have seen the terms heroes and leaders be used to describe many groups of people who have not traditionally been given such a title. Across the globe, governing bodies have set forth policies to increase the safety of humankind; healthcare workers have compromised their own safety to care for and save the lives of those infected; manufacturers have grown their production efforts in an attempt to ensure there were enough supplies and medical equipment to go around; innovators and researchers have worked tirelessly to find a vaccination; and individuals have practiced social distancing and isolation to protect the immunocompromised.
Morton’s piece will reflect finding extraordinary in the ordinary, with motifs in his sculpture representing families, a sense of community, and safety. “Each of us embodies a vital cog in the ever-spinning wheels of humanity,” says Morton. “The equal giving of support to our fellow neighbors is the life and strength of the community. From families to towns, from towns to states, and states to the nation. The true hero starts with you and extends to all.”
This sculpture will be unveiled in June 2021.
Below are the current sculptures that line the Mauldin Public Art Trail. Download the map and come see these artworks in person!
2019: Youth: Passion for Change
“The Big Cocoon” by Aldo Muzzarelli
Artist Aldo Muzzarelli was chosen for 2019 to create a piece for the theme “Youth: Passion for Change.” This theme celebrates the youth as our future and a driving force behind positive change across the globe.
“The issues that I choose are very optimistic and are almost always related to freedom, equality, the search for changes, the way to transform negatives into positives,” said Muzzarelli during the unveiling ceremony. “In my artistic work the theme of butterflies is very frequent, so much so that in the country where I was born I am still known as ‘the painter of butterflies’. For me, the butterfly represents freedom, continuous change, happiness.”
Muzzarelli’s proposal for his sculpture was to create a piece in which the figure of a child (representing youth) is shown with the cocoon of a butterfly, surrounded by many fully-grown butterflies. The rectangular framework in which the young boy rests represents the barriers that must be overcome by today’s youth.
“Youth, like a cocoon, carries with it all that potential energy necessary for change: the desire to fight, to transform, to face, to fly, to move forward,” Muzzarelli explained. “I hope that the character of the artwork achieves many other connotations. For example, the importance of living in a country like this, where young people have the possibility to choose their future, to select peace. And I mean this because Venezuela, the country where I was born, has been going through a terrible political and social crisis… that has cut the lives of many young people and the freedom of many others. Only education, work, culture, and well-established principles lead to freedom and peace.”
About the Artist
Aldo Muzzarelli is a Venezuelan-born artist who holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Central University of Venezuela. He served as the Director of Culture in his hometown along with teaching at fine arts workshops all over Venezuela. Muzzarelli has created monumental works for the Cathedral of San Pedro in Caracas and opened his own gallery in Tinaquillo. Since immigrating to the United Sates, Muzzarelli has continued his artistic pursuits and has won awards and recognition while participating in exhibitions around the world.
Erected: October 2019
Unveiled: November 14, 2019
Watch a video on the construction of “The Big Cocoon”
2018: Industry of the Upstate
“The Groundbreaking” by Arrington Matthews
Arrington Matthews of Lyman, SC was chosen for 2018’s theme “Industry of the Upstate.” His sculpture, entitled “The Groundbreaking,” exemplifies the theme by portraying the ever-changing face of industry — from where we began to where we are heading.
About the Artist
Arrin Matthews has been a metalsmith with John Boyd Smith Metal Studios since 2012, where he designs, creates, and finishes architectural commissions. Skilled in design, welding, forging, and metal fabrication, his work is represented in Florida, Maryland, California, Hilton Head, SC, Savannah, GA, and now Mauldin, SC.
Matthews is also a firefighter with the Mauldin Fire Department. Being an employee of the City, he is intimately aware of the growth Mauldin has seen recently and chose to focus his piece on the City’s industry.
Erected: November 27, 2018
Unveiled: December 12, 2018
2017: Appreciation of Diversity
“We Are All One” by Yelitza Díaz Muzzarelli
Mauldin, SC artist Yelitza Díaz’s sculpture entitled “We Are All One” embraces the 2017 theme “Appreciation of Diversity,” exalting the spirit of struggle, equality, and reciprocity of the among humans regardless of their differences.
About the Artist
Yelitza Díaz, Venezuelan immigrant and longtime South Carolina resident, specializes in sculpture, winning awards in national and international fine arts competitions since her youth. She has worked in art history and arts education, as well as cultural promotion in her home country of Venezuela.
After immigrating to the United States, she has continued her artistic work in South Carolina with her own gallery, Muzzarelli-Díaz-Art. Her works are represented in galleries and collections throughout Venezuela, Europe, and the United States.
Passionate about the human figure, Díaz makes her sculptures with mixed media techniques, minimalist-contemporary styles, and a clear inclination for human existentialism. Her work aims to reflect the hopes and deepest thoughts of the human being.
Erected: November 30, 2017
Unveiled: December 15, 2017
Watch a video on the construction of “We Are All One”
2016: South Carolina Strong
“Palmetto with Flowers” by Jamie von Herndon
Swansea, SC artist Jamie von Herndon’s sculpture entitled “Palmetto with Flowers” was selected for the 2016 addition to the Mauldin Public Art Trail. The sculpture embraces the theme, “South Carolina Strong”, a nod to the resilience, strength, and unity of South Carolinians during the tragedy at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and the 2015 statewide flooding.
About the Artist
Jamie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in general studio with a concentration in sculpture and a minor in painting from the University of South Carolina in 2007. In 2010, she earned a Clay Spencer Certificate in Traditional Joinery from John C. Campbell Folk School.
She has held a wide range of positions including metalsmith artist assistant (Back Street Studios, LLC), sculpture shop attendant (University of South Carolina), apprentice (Ornamental Iron Shop & Camden Ornament Iron Works), editor, demonstrator and green coal instructor (The Philip Simmons Artist Blacksmith Guild of South Carolina), vice president and journeyman (Ironman Shop/Carolina Powder Coaters, LLC), and art director (Herndon Asphalt Engineering and Consulting, LLC) to name a few. In 2004, she organized and founded Carolina Association of Sculpture Students, a non-profit group for University of South Carolina Students to develop an avenue where students could gain exposure and sell their work while raising monies for accomplished artist lectures and studio workshops.
Erected: December 7, 2016
Unveiled: December 14, 2016
“The Depot” by Joey Manson
Central, SC artist Joey Manson’s sculpture entitled “The Depot” was selected for the 2015 theme “Crossroads.”
Through research, Manson discovered the history of the Mauldin area including a map describing Mauldin’s historical borders drawn as a circle with a 1/2 mile radius centered on the original train depot. Interested in the circular border and the crossroads formed by 107 [East Butler Road] intersecting with 276 and the railroad, he also found the shape to resemble that of an impeller or a propeller, an object of great importance to the economy of Mauldin over the years. They were first found producing power from the river at nearby mills and then during WWII powering airplanes at [Donaldson Center] Air Force Base.
The theme of crossroads thus led Manson from the roads and railway that first gave rise to Mauldin to the modern industry and development that encircles Mauldin and drives today’s economy.
He added the curved, green beams to symbolize these dynamic forces that surround and connect Mauldin today. The grey beam represents the railroad, still present and working, running straight through town.
About the Artist
Joey Manson works with industrial materials to depict his surroundings, abstracting today’s technological and natural environments. His sculpture becomes an exploration of the world’s built, social and environmental constructs.
Manson obtained his Master of Fine Arts from Alfred University in 1996 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Clemson University in 1994.
He has held exhibitions across the United States and currently has commissioned works on display throughout the Southeast. View his work at joeymanson.com
Erected: December 11, 2015
Unveiled: December 15, 2015