Question: What’s this outdoor gallery all about? Sum it up for me in a few sentences.
Answer: Gladly. The Outdoor Street Art Gallery is a three-acre private outdoor gallery, adjacent to Church Crossing Shopping Center, that celebrates street art and street artists. Our founder, Marty Kotis, was inspired by his visit in 2016 to the Berlin Wall curated artwork and Urban Spree in Berlin, Germany. Our 46 panels will feature a rotating lineup of images for the public to enjoy for free. Stroll through the gallery as often as you like; you’ll probably see something new every time.
Q. What’s the address?
A. The Outdoor Street Art Gallery is at 1316 Lee’s Chapel Road, near the intersection of North Church Street. It's adjacent to Church Crossing shopping center, anchored by Food Lion grocery.
Q. Who owns it?
A. This is a project of Kotis Street Art — the brainchild of Greensboro developer, restaurateur and entrepreneur Marty Kotis. Kotis Street Art has commissioned nearly 200 pieces of art on walls owned by Marty Kotis’s development company, Kotis. Kotis owns the gallery, adjacent shopping center and additional adjacent land.
Q. Why Lee’s Chapel Road?
A. It’s part of Kotis’ desire to bring inspirational art to all parts of Greensboro and an excellent use for an empty piece of land. In 2008, Kotis bought Church Crossing Shopping Center and the adjacent field, which has been sitting fallow ever since, just waiting for the right project.
Q. How much taxpayer money was used to build this park?
A. Try zero dollars. It’s a 100 percent privately funded project valued at about $1 million — $900,000 in land and the $100,000 Kotis Street Art spent on site work, landscaping and art panels.
Q. What’s in it for Kotis? What’s his angle?
A. As documented here, here, here, here and here (we could go on, but …), the dude is really into street art (Seriously, it passed the hobby stage a while back). It’s a part of Kotis’ desire to create a world-class street art destination and attraction for the city. It also brings additional visitors to the businesses within the center, and hopefully attracts a few new ones. And it benefits Kotis (the development company), which may draw more businesses to its shopping centers through the attention the art brings. But beyond that, the project:
helps artists, who now have a high quality space to practice their craft in close proximity to other artists
Improves the daily walk of those without a car who walk to the center for their groceries and shopping needs
benefits businesses in and around Church Crossing Shopping Center, who hopefully will see increased traffic
gives the public a space in which to appreciate art.
spreads the word about Kotis Street Art and its mission to make Greensboro a top destination for street art in the South.
Q. What about the surrounding neighborhoods? Are they concerned about the traffic?
A. We’d love it if the Outdoor Street Art Gallery drew hundreds of visitors each day; we have an abundance of parking within the shopping center. Realistically, however, it’s more likely to bring in a small number of people to an already bustling section of Greensboro. Since we began the project, we’ve made improvements to help nearby residents. Our crews noticed that people who walked from apartments behind the shopping center to the stores were cutting through a small dirt path in the woods. So we created a wider, more even and safer path for them, which hopefully will make it easier to carry groceries home.
Q. Where did the idea for this outdoor gallery come from?
A. Marty Kotis travels a lot, particularly in Europe, which is how his love of street art evolved. The outdoor gallery was an outgrowth of his visits to art festivals, including Urban Spree in Berlin; Upfest in Bristol, England; Shoreditch in London; and Wynwood Walls in Miami.