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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

South End neighbors bid good-bye to eclectic Camden Road block
Common Market, artists move out July 30
Published Monday, July 25, 2016 7:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

Change brings good-byes.

South End denizens found a way to commemorate the Camden block before demolition of the Common Market for a new development, Dimensional Fund Advisors. Neighbors placed a series of sticky notes as friendly wall art on a window, which spelled “BYE.” The project encouraged passersby to take a moment to write down their memories of Common Market and other businesses in the triangle-shaped retail area.

“This is our love letter to the community,” Charlotte artist April Marten said. “I had a studio space on the top floor above Common Market, and I got to know the community.”

Marten collaborated with Laurie Smithwick to create the space, which will remain until Aug. 1.

“[Martin] asked if I wanted to participate, and I’m a huge fan of the Common Market—I loved the idea of playing a part in saying good-bye to them,” Smithwick said. “I’m an artist who tends toward the technical art. I had done a project at Community Make Day at C3 Lab that April was also at that was similar to this. It was a similar pixelated piece of art. So April got the idea that I might be able to help with some of the math aspects of this, but I’m also a graphic designer. I bring that technical element to creating art.”

Said Marten: “I know that change is just an inevitable part of being human. With change, we can hopefully be pushed as a community to grow in a way that’s going to link us all together in more meaningful ways. Sometimes getting a little shaken up out of our comfort zone, pushes us to do projects like this, which allows us to meet people that we’ve never met before, and move on to bigger and better things.”

Said Rob Yaeger, volunteer coordinator for the Charlotte Art League, who documented the project: “We have a lot of projects that are ongoing. This is one that’s a fun one, but also a sad one, because it’s an eclectic magnet that draws people into the area. We wanted to give people an opportunity to give their last respects.”

As Charlotte expands, the Camden block theme resonates throughout the city: Out with the old and in with the new – usually apartments. However, the area is set to house an office building.

“These are my neighbors, so I feel like I’m sort of suffering a loss personally,” Marten said. “I wanted to give people an opportunity to express themselves in a positive way—say good-bye to the block that’s going to be replaced with some new construction.”


Really going to miss Common Market and all of our neighbors. I been here too many years and seen many changes but this is not going to be the neighborhood I have seen it become anymore.
Posted on July 27, 2016
You really just used the word denizens.
Posted on July 26, 2016

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