Artists in the Park

fountain spray Center City Park Greensboro North CarolinaCenter City Park incorporates themes and details inherent to Greensboro’s history and culture and is designed to represent our city as an open and welcoming place of diverse people.  The support of and use of local artists in the park’s art features is an important part of that statement.

The Fountain

The focal point of Center City Park is its fountain, an abstract representation of the seasonal stream beds found throughout the Piedmont of North Carolina.

Libation, the urn sculpture by Jim Cooper, appears to emerge from the fountain and represents the fountain’s headwaters. It is placed to be glimpsed from the park entry at Elm Street and Friendly Avenue, drawing pedestrians into the park. Jim also created bent grass iron fences that serve to emphasize the gateways and direct visitors into the park.

Jim Cooper

Jim Cooper - Center City Park, Greensboro North Carolina Jim Cooper, who describes himself as a blacksmith and metal artist, created Libation in his studio at the Lyndon Street Artworks in downtown Greensboro.  The urn sculpture stands 8 1/2' tall and is comprised of two containers that continuously brim over. 

Jim was born in Birmingham, Alabama, where steel is everywhere and where he acquired his interest in metal.  A metal artist for 35 years, he has been in museum work for most of his adult life.  Jim and his wife moved from Greensboro to Fredericksburg, VA in 2007.  

Jim Cooper's Bent Grass Fencing - Center City Park, Greensboro North CarolinaJim's Bent Grass Fencing (right) defines the edges of the Park's entrances and serves to guide visitors into the Park. Read Jim Cooper’s philosophy and see examples of his of work at his web site.New window

Jim Cooper
Cooper Metals

Fredericksburg, VA

Judy McKie

Judy McKie Early Bird sculpture Center City Park Greensboro North Carolina Early Bird bronze bench

Judy McKie is a furniture designer born in Boston.  After earning a degree in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design she began work as a graphic designer. (In fact, several of her cloth wall-hangings were used as tents at Woodstock.)

In the early 1970’s Judy began making furniture and by the end of the decade was gaining national recognition in shows, commissions, and awards. Her interest in the primitive animal motifs of pre-Columbian, African, and Native American art shows in her whimsical sculptural furniture with its colorful carved animal forms. By the early 1990s Judy had begun casting tables and benches in bronze.

“I want to make art that people love.

“The things I enjoy are light in feeling and there is visually something a little naive about them. They tend to be playful and personal and they are somewhat subtle... Those are the kinds of objects that I choose to have around me. So when I make something, I try to imbue the object I'm making with the quality of the things I appreciate.”

With Addison Parks, Artdeal Magazine, 1994

Priscilla Taylor - Center City Park, Greensboro North CarolinaJudy McKie is shown above in the process of making Early Bird. The finished bench at right seats Priscilla Taylor comfortably.

Judy Kensley McKie
82 Holoworthy Street
Cambridge, MA  02138 New window



Fred Johnston

Fred Johnston - Center City Park, Greensboro North Carolina

Fred Johnston grew up in the rural South, and his approach to clay is rooted in the Southern folk pottery traditions of North Carolina.  His work extends these traditions by mixing motifs and styles from different cultures and time periods and adding an element of playfulness.

Fred is a graduate of Alfred University, the New York State College of Ceramics in Alfred, New York, and he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics from Penn State University.  His studio is one of the over 100 pottery studios and galleries in the Seagrove area, and his work is adding to the 300-year history of one of the largest communities of potters in the nation.  Seagrove’s abundant clay deposits were first utilized by Native Americans, with English and German immigrant potters arriving in the late 1700’s, giving the area the longest continual history of pottery making in the United States.Fred Johnston - Center City Park, Greensboro North Carolina

Fred Johnston
249 East Main Street, Seagrove, NC  27341