Morganton sits on the Catawba River in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Known as “Nature’s Playground,” Morganton is surrounded by scenic rural landscapes, abundant outdoor adventure opportunities and a thriving downtown. Morganton is also home to a beautiful downtown square anchored by the Historic Burke County Courthouse.
The Courthouse Square has been the premier community gathering spot in Morganton for more than 100 years. In the early years, visiting dignitaries, political events and parades were common. Now families gather to enjoy the green space, outdoor concerts, and festivals. Morganton’s recent masterplan placed top priority on the redesign of Courthouse Square to include a multi-purpose outdoor event space for downtown.
Morganton’s SmART team realized this redesigned “space” would not only be the largest transformation in downtown for many years, but also a prime opportunity to integrate art into the plans for the square. The SmART team chose artist Miki Iwasaki to collaborate with the architectural team and incorporate public art into the Courthouse square design plan. Iwasaki has created several concepts and will fabricate one or two of the proposed artworks as construction begins in 2020.