City of Raleigh Selects Public Artist for World of Bluegrass 2014

April 10, 2014

The City of Raleigh Arts Commission has approved artist Bland Hoke to create site-specific temporary public art for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass 2014. The event, an annual homecoming of the bluegrass music community, will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in Downtown Raleigh.

From 30 applications, the Arts Commission’s artist selection panel recommended Mr. Hoke based on his experience creating innovative site-integrated artwork using reclaimed and recycled materials. His artwork for World of Bluegrass 2014 will enhance the area surrounding the iconic Bruno Lucchesi Sir Walter Raleigh sculpture, using hundreds of castoff banjo parts to create a bandstand. The Sir Walter Raleigh sculpture is in front of the Raleigh Convention Center, one of the venues for the World of Bluegrass 2014.

“I am thrilled that we get to work with Bland Hoke,” said Sarah Powers, a member of the Arts Commission and chair of the artist selection panel. “He brings a level of professionalism and creativity that will help showcase Raleigh's spirit of collaboration and innovation. Bland has proposed creating a space for people to gather and start conversations, and his unusual use of materials will create a memorable experience for visitors.”

Over the past 12 years, Mr. Hoke has created high-impact temporary public artwork throughout the United States. His environmentally conscientious approach is emboldened by a continually expanding knowledge of how to find, acquire and work with post-use metals, fabrics, equipment and cast-offs from industry. One of his best known projects, “Matter in Time,” is installed at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. The artwork consists of 60 decommissioned lamp poles covered with phosphorescent pigment, appearing as an array of geometric blue lines when dusk falls. He has also created temporary public art for the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada. His goal for World of Bluegrass 2014 is to create interactive temporary public art for use by attendees and musicians.

Mr. Hoke graduated in 2002 from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City with a master’s degree in transdisciplinary design. He received his bachelor’s degree from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2007. He resides in Long Island City, N.Y.

The International Bluegrass Music Association ( is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s three-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau; PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music; the City of Raleigh; and a local organizing committee. This will be the second year that Raleigh hosts the World of Bluegrass.

The Office of Raleigh Arts supports and promotes the arts in Raleigh by administering the programs of the Raleigh Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board, and supporting the Pullen and Sertoma arts centers. The Office of Raleigh Arts is part of the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

For more information, contact or the Office of Raleigh Arts at 919-996-3610; or visit the City of Raleigh’s website at