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The Voice of the Black Community

Arts and Entertainment

Tiff Massey earns Charlotte Mecklenburg Library art commission
Main Branch dedication scheduled for 2024
Published Saturday, June 12, 2021 6:10 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

Tiff Massey has earned a commission to create art for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s new Main branch.

Tiff Massey will create public artwork for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s new Main branch in time for its 2024 completion.

A five-member artist selection panel comprised of library and Arts & Science Council leaders and chaired by a Public Art Commission member, unanimously approved Massey for the project. The artwork is funded in accordance with Mecklenburg County’s Public Art Ordinance, which allocates 1% of the total construction budget for eligible capital projects for public art.

Public art initiatives for the county and city of Charlotte are managed by the Arts & Science Council.

“Tiff is an artist with a strong, personal vision that excels at expressing her ideas through a variety of mediums and scales of work,” ASC Vice President of Public Art Todd Stewart said. “Her ability to involve others in her creative practice is exemplary.”

Massey, an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, is a 2021 United States Artists Fellow. Her work is inspired by African standards of economic vitality, such as large-scale and wearable sculptures, music and performance. Through the lens of the African Diaspora, she blends influences from 1980s hip hop, contemporary observations of class and race and personal experience as a Detroit native.

“We’re pleased to announce Tiff Massey as the artist chosen to create the public artwork for our new Main Library,” Charlotte Mecklenburg Library CEO and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner said in a statement. “We envision her artwork will add a wonderful dimension to the new Main Library where our entire Mecklenburg community can experience and enjoy it while accessing resources, connecting with others and participating in our programs and events.”

ASC will host a virtual community engagement meeting with Massey on June 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Residents can learn about Massey and her artistic process while also engaging in dialogue to help shape her concept for the new Main Library public art. Registration in advance is requested to participate.  

The new Main Library will be built on the same site as the existing one at 310 N. Tryon St. The $100 million, 115,000-square-foot project will include five levels above ground and one below, two outdoor terraces, an active lobby, a vendor-operated café, two immersive theaters, meeting space and rooms, and upgraded Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for early 2022, with expected completion and opening in 2024.

“We have come to learn of the power of Tiff Massey’s work and its ability to bridge cultures and time frames, something the mission of a library also seeks,” said Craig Dykers, an architect founding partner of Snøhetta, which designed the new library.

“Tiff’s interdisciplinary explorations are often part of a dialogue between architecture and art. Each piece is a unique gateway, opening new perspectives for all that experience it. We are delighted to work together, and we know her work will strengthen the mission of the library and its design.”


What an honor! Congratulations Tiff!!!
Posted on June 14, 2021
I look forward for her work will kick start Charlotte Public Art and science, since we have a huge Black population here.
Posted on June 12, 2021

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