Telescope Gateways into Burnsville
Public Artist Jack Mackie designed the town’s new gateways. Jack was hired by Burnsville in 2014 to create and build new public art installations. “There’s a long history of arts and crafts here,” Mackie says. “I wanted to come to work with this community.”
The handmade glass objects will be placed into metal wire-mesh baskets, which will then be wrapped around tall steel cylinders to give the sculptures their distinct telescope look. The colors reflect sunrise for the East entrance, and sunset for the West.
In addition to redesigning Burnsville’s main entrances, and the end of South Main Street, the project also calls for new landscaping with strong vining plants and tall columns of glass on the long wall that runs along Highway 19E.
The Star Park location on the mountaintop will offer a 360-degree view in an area that is certified as a Dark Sky Community.
Mayland Community College will soon begin construction on Blue Ridge Star Park and Observatory on this mountain on Highway 80 North. A large StarStructure Newtonian telescope with a 34-inch mirror is currently being built. The telescope will be housed in a roll-off-roof observatory building on the summit at an elevation of 2,736 feet.
Over the last 25 years, more and more artists and craftspeople from Burnsville and the Toe River region have earned national and international acclaim for their work. Today, professional creativity represents a main economic engine in Yancey County. There are literally hundreds of artists and crafters working in local studios in many different media.
First week of glass production at Penland School of Crafts
Artist renderings of new gateways by Jack Mackie