Durham County

Bull City picks public art for new downtown Durham parking garage. Get the 1st look.

This is a portion of the winning design of artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz, called “Leading the Charge,” that was voted to be the new public art for the city’s new parking garage at Mangum Street, Morgan Street and Rigsbee Avenue.
This is a portion of the winning design of artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz, called “Leading the Charge,” that was voted to be the new public art for the city’s new parking garage at Mangum Street, Morgan Street and Rigsbee Avenue. City of Durham image

A new parking garage being built in downtown Durham will be covered in a colorful herd of bulls.

One of the construction cranes downtown is working on the mixed-use parking garage at Mangum Street, Morgan Street and Rigsbee Avenue. It is expected to open in early 2019.

Artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz’s public art will be displayed on several banners on the city-owned garage. His art was among five finalists chosen from 34 applicants. Then those who live or work in the Triangle were able to vote online for the winning design. Eng-Goetz’s “Leading the Charge” design was announced as the winner Monday.

GabrielEngGoetzart.JPG
The proposal of artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz, one of five finalists to design the public art for the city's new parking garage at Mangum Street, Morgan Street and Rigsbee Avenue. City of Durham image

Here is Eng-Goetz’s artist statement:

“A child stands leading the charging herd towards a future of equality and diversity, while paying homage to the rich history of minority entrepreneurialism in Durham. Born and raised in Durham, I grew up witnessing the power the citizens of this city possess to alter their environments for positive change. This piece is a tribute to those citizens, past and present, who make sacrifices every day for the greater good. A greater Durham.”

Eng-Goetz is the founder of Runaway clothing brand, which incorporates the words “Bull City” and “Durm” among other Durham-centered images in its T-shirts and other clothing. “Durm” is the proper pronunciation of “Durham.”

Eng-Goetz said Monday that this will be the largest size artwork he has done.

“The scale is huge, it’s crazy. Each panel is 40 feet tall by 16 feet wide,” he said. Eng-Goetz said he hadn’t even thought about putting the design on any Runaway stuff and is doubtful that would happen.

“I assume that the city owns [the design] now,” he said.

The child in the design, a girl, is no one specific but is “just really representative of young minority youth,” Eng-Goetz said. He said he thought about the garage’s proximity to historic Black Wall Street on Parrish Street downtown, and that the design is colorful to represent all types of people.

The five finalist designs were voted on by 3,460 people, and “Leading the Charge” won with 1,219 votes, according to the city. Eng-Goetz will receive a $7,500 honorarium. All five finalists received $500, too.

The city’s Department of General Services will print the banners to be installed after the garage opens in 2019. The $23 million mixed-use garage will have 667 parking spaces and 15,687 square feet of commercial and retail space on its perimeter. The city’s parking administrator offices will also be in the building.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563, @dawnbvaughan
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