The Wilders Grove Project

Image Courtesy of: Le Chevallier,

Raleigh artist Matt McConnell, with designers Lee Cherry and Marc Russo, was commissioned in 2012 by the Public Art and Design Board to create public art at the Wilders Grove facility that would integrate recycled materials into its design and raise awareness regarding the various ways to reduce and reuse waste.

The resulting artwork, titled “The Wilders Grove Project,” is a 40-foot-long interactive wall relief that conveys the evolution and transformation of waste products through the use of recycled materials embedded with animated kaleidoscopes. More than 200 volunteers contributed time and materials to the project.


The Wilders Grove Project is an 8 x 40 foot flowing relief wall of recycled materials and interactive kaleidoscope videos at the entrance of the Wilders Grove Waste Facility in Raleigh, NC. Its purpose is to attract visitors and raise awareness about the advantages and contributions of thoughtful waste management and recycling.


The conceptual vision:

  • butterfly wings as inspiration for the structural frame to represent transformation of behavioral patterns and the growth of environmental sensitivity
  • use of collected recyclable materials to represent the innovation and technology of recycling
  • the layers and arrangement of collected materials symbolize growth and evolution of plant life, such as tree rings and geologic striations
  • interactive video kaleidoscopes focus on elements in the recycling process (products, waste, recycling, environment, and life) to demonstrate a hopeful vision of the future

We present these elements so visitors can reflect on their actions relating to the impact of waste on our natural environment and connect the services of the Wilders Grove Waste Facility to the betterment of the future.



In the Press

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Principal Artists

William Lee Cherry  has 10 years of interactive software development & project management experience as a technical producer, interactive designer and information architect. He has developed and managed large-scale interactive projects that leverage technology, user interface design and information graphics for such companies as American Express, Accipiter, Böwe Bell & Howell, GlaxoSmithKline, Grant Hill Ventures, IBM, NBC Sports, Nortel and The United States Tennis Association.

Matt McConnell of McConnell Studios holds degrees in Architecture and Industrial Design from the NC State College of Design and has fifteen years of professional experience in large-scale sculpture, architectural installation, and lighting design including hundreds of commissions, both functional and non-functional. McConnell Studios creates custom designed elements for residential, commercial  and public spaces with the goal of enhancing the environments in which we live, work, and play.

Marc Russo is an Assistant Professor of Art + Design in the College of Design at North Carolina State University with a focus on new media and animation design. In addition to teaching, Russo also works as a freelance designer and shows his work nationally and internationally in art and design galleries and exhibitions.


Zap McConnell
Sara Phoenix
Ande Ventura
Ginger Cherry
Rebekah Desloge
Taylor White
Catherine Hofmann
Gab Smith // CAM Raleigh 
Joan Ellen Deck // Visual Art Exchange