8 new murals coming to Charlotte, and what to know about them

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Photo by Alex Cason

Think Charlotte mural artists have been busy? That’s just the beginning: here are a few murals to look out for in the weeks and months ahead:

(1) Behailu Academy’s mural on Matheson Avenue

Courtesy of Behailu Academy

Artists: Led by Bree Stallings

Address: Matheson Avenue

The mural is part of Behailu Academy’s Meals, Minds, and Movement project. Led by artist Bree Stallings, students, community members and volunteers helped create the first layer of the mural.

The project is “a conversation series designed to bring a diverse group of community members together to explore issues impacting social mobility such a race, social class, gender,” said Lori Krzeszewski, Behailu Executive Director.

Featured on the mural will be Behailu students, volunteers and community members. The map behind them will illustrate how resources and wealth are unevenly distributed in Charlotte.

“We will add some additions to the wall that will move and lift like a children’s pop-up book,” Stallings said. “They will be interactive, so the words will correlate with pieces of the conversations built to that point.”

(2) CBI

Artist: Osiris Rain

Address: 4020 Yancey Rd

This mural was a collaboration between CBI and Gensler design firm, who hosted an in-house competition to determine the vision for the art, then brought in Gökotta to assist with artist selection. Osiris Rain’s new piece at CBI will be a three-dimensional public art piece combining architectural elements and a painted mural, Gökotta principal Jenny Vallimont said.

(3) Common Market Southend

Photo courtesy of Owl

Artists: Southern Tiger Collective’s Arko and Owl

Address: 235 W. Tremont Ave.

“It’s a collaboration of all our characters and what we do,” Owl said. Look closely; within the outer space theme, you’ll see her style, Arko’s maskot and Sam’ich, the Common Market logo.

(4) Crescent NOVEL Stonewall Station

Photo by Alex Cason

Artist: Marc Fornes

Address: 400 E Stonewall St.

An 18,000-square-foot piece of public art by Brooklyn-based artist Marc Fornes is going up at NOVEL Stonewall Station. He has designed the mural to be attractive from different perspectives, whether it’s a quick glimpse while driving down I-277 or walking by on the street. Different people will see different things, he said — one person may see shapes while another may see a landscape.  “You’ll start to read the valleys and then you’ll read the peaks — it’s a gigantic puzzle,” he said. “Every time I look at it, I discover something new. You may discover something new about yourself.”

(5) Five Points/Historic West End

Courtesy of Marcus Kiser

Artists: Marcus Kiser and Jason Woodberry

Address: West Trade Street, across the street from Mosaic Village and Johnson C. Smith’s Arts Factory

Marcus Kiser and Jason Woodberry are working with Center City Partners and Knight Foundation as well as League of Creative Interventionists to create a series of four murals at Five Points/Historic West End along the Trade Street/Beatties Ford Road Corridor.

The murals will be based on Intergalactic Soul, a traveling Afrofuturism art exhibit by Quentin Talley, Jason Woodberry and Marcus Kiser, which made its Charlotte debut at the Harvey B. Gantt Center in 2015. Their science fiction exhibit discusses news surrounding the black community.

The artists created a story of young, black astronauts who have traveled through space and encounter social and racial issues, including KKK aliens, police shootings and a character that resembles Donald Trump selling grape sodas that pump poison into the universe, with a saying of “Make America Grape Again.”

It’s an interactive art exhibit that reads as comic book or cartoon. “I like to think of it as Saturday morning cartoons with a message,” Kiser said. Kiser and Woodberry create the visual art, and Talley adds a live performance narration, telling the story with a live band.

The murals will be created on abandoned buildings on West Trade Street, at a site that will become a farmers market. They will showcase the characters created as part of Intergalactic Soul, with a theme of education, nourishment and love. Look out for a live block performance later this year.

(6) Five Points/Historic West End

Courtesy of Georgie Nakima

Artists: Georgie Nakima and Sloan Siobhan

Address: West Trade Street, across the street from Mosaic Village and Johnson C. Smith’s Arts Factory

Beginning June 1, Georgie Nakima and Sloan Siobhan will take three months to create a mural funded by Historic West End and Knight Foundation as well as League of Creative Interventionists. It will be a response to gentrification, Nakima said.

“It’s about us reclaiming our space, looking into the past to gain the future,” Nakima said. Called “Manifest Future,” Nakima said it’s more than a mural, it’s a community arts project and will include interaction such as paint parties. “We’re giving the neighborhood a chance to actually experience the mural — it’s not something that’s just going to pop up over a week. We’re taking our time with it and we’re giving neighbors a chance to see the process.”

The mural will be located on a cement wall behind Kiser and Woodberry’s murals. They plan to set up an outdoor living room, a functional communion space.

“We really want to see a change happen with gentrification. A lot of it is going to be us informing and teaching each other,” Nakima said.

(7) Palmer Street Arcade Bar in Southend

Photo by Alex Santaloci

Artist: Alex Santaloci

Address: 412 W. Palmer St.

“I’m a tattoo artist by day and one of the things I specialize in is geekery,” said Santaloci, who executed the entire mural freehand after her projector broke.

“It’s inspired by characters of video games I grew up with like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, but I like to use friends’ faces when at all possible — so you can very often see familiar faces in my work,” she said.

(8) Tip Top Daily Market

Artists: Rotating; Southern Tiger Collective

Address: 2902 The Plaza

Rotating artists from Southern Tiger Collective will create art for two wooden windows near the entrance.

1 COMMENT

  1. Why doesn’t someone do a mural(s) on the At&t building on N. Caldwell St., across from the Spectrum Center?
    The building is an eyesore for Uptown and a huge blank pallet for any inspiring artist. Just a thought.

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