Winthrop grad touts “fantastic” public arts plan for Rock Hill roundabout

Winthrop grad touts “fantastic” public arts plan for Rock Hill roundabout

From the Rock Hill Herald

Article by David Thackham


Brandy Scholl

In truth, Brandy Scholl got her inspiration from a real-life case of #ThrowbackThursday.

Inspired by a photograph of an old buggy car and a visit to a renovated fabrics manufacturer, the recent Winthrop University graduate brainstormed and designed an intricate public arts project that may adorn the city’s new roundabout by next summer.

“It’s a little surreal,” said Scholl, who designed the top concept of her class earlier this spring. “I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that I came up with this out of my head, and now it’s actually being built into this community. Being welcomed… as an artist, it’s the most gratifying thing you could possibly imagine.”

Scholl, who now works as a self-employed artist in Greenville, laid out her plan in front of the Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. on Tuesday afternoon.

The idea is to create what she calls a “sensory experience” by decorating the four outside edges of the roundabout circle with flowers and plants which would be adapted to each season.

The effect uses the entire space and gives drivers a better visual experience as they make their way around to their exit, says Scholl. The art is funded through a portion of a $50,000 grant the city received last summer from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The design drew rave reviews from David Lawrence, project manager for the Knowledge Park project, which lies close to the incoming roundabout.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Lawrence. “It’s a new gateway entering that direction, with everything heading into Knowledge Park. It’s a unique idea, and I hope it’s as colorful as her images.”

Scholl’s design includes use of 10 3×3 concrete discs, carved with themes around the city, which will be placed in the ground for pedestrians to step on in between the plants.

Construction on the roundabout is going smoothly, says Lawrence, and the site should be open again within the next six months. Once that starts, workers will be able to start laying in Scholl’s design.

She’ll present her concept in front of the Rock Hill City Council next month for final approval.

It took Scholl nearly three months to fully draw out her plans and put together her concept, which was deemed the best in her class at a board review.

She was most inspired by a trip to the Springs Creative textile building on Chatham Ave., where she saw huge rolls of fabric in the warehouse. She also drew parallels from an old archive photo of a vintage Anderson motor buggy from the Rock Hill Buggy Company.

“I had three posters of this traffic design hanging up all over my space alone, and I kept seeing a spinning, central part of it,” said Scholl. “That’s where the creation came from.”

Although it’ll likely be about 8 to 9 months before she’s able to see the fruits of her labor, Scholl said she’s proud to see that her work has been appreciated.

“The more you research, the more you know what you have,” she said. “Just getting to learn about Rock Hill’s history, that I didn’t know about, that was great.”