It can be amazing, what is seen when you look at the world through an artist’s eyes. Frank Balluff, Charlotte native, artist, and current Olivet College senior, will give the community a glimpse of his vision of his hometown when his first public sculpture is unveiled at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26 in downtown Charlotte.
Balluff was contracted by the City of Charlotte’s public art committee this past summer to create a sculpture that captured the essence of a community on the verge of revitalization.
“It represents the individual people in our community coming together to form something better,” Balluff said. “We may look like a small community from afar, but when we bring everyone together, we can do big things.”
Balluff said he has seen, firsthand, the strength of the Charlotte community when it comes together in times of great struggle. He lost a classmate and friend to cancer in 2012 and seeing the way the community came together to support one another is something that has always stuck with him.
“Everyone was so supportive of one another, and really came together like a big family,” Balluff said. “I think there are a lot of other communities where that wouldn’t happen.”
Balluff was commissioned for the piece after the arts committee connected with his concept through the grant proposal process. The City of Charlotte received at $10,000 Public Art for Communities grant from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, and PNC Bank in the spring of 2016. The City of Charlotte contributed an additional $5,000 for the installation of the piece, which will reside at Peter’s Circle, located on the southwest corner of Lovett Street and Cochran Avenue in downtown Charlotte.
Bryan Myrkle, Charlotte’s Community Development Director, said the city was lucky to find a local artist of Balluff’s talents.
“When we commissioned this sculpture, we opened-up the opportunity to artists from across the state, but our best response came from an artist right here in Charlotte,” Myrkle said.  
Myrkle said that he hopes this won’t be the only piece of public art coming to Charlotte in the near future.
“Our public spaces need to be appealing and attractive, just like we expect our homes, offices and other private spaces to be,” Myrkle said. “Art is an important part of that effort. We couldn’t be happier that this sculpture was created by a young, hometown artist, and we know he has a great career ahead of him.”
Balluff said he learned a lot about the process of creating something on such a large scale.
“It’s easy to draw up an idea on paper, and think it will come together so easy,” he said. “There were definitely a lot of bumps along the way, but I’m really happy and proud of it.Downtown Sculpture