Charlotte just got 16 new murals last weekend–here’s where to find them

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Photo by Houston Ray
Garden of Journey paints at Salon 1226 during the Talking Walls festival

If you’re driving around the Queen City this week and there seems to be a lot less beige than you remembered on last week’s commute, it’s not your imagination.

The Talking Walls festival debuted this past weekend, with 17 mural artists painting 16 new murals surrounding Center City. The project was the brainchild of Southern Tiger Collective’s Alex DeLarge and IMEK Studio’s Kevin Taylor, with the help of committee members Rob Reilly and Queens University professor Mike Wirth.

It was an effort of the local arts community combined with sponsorships that allowed for 10 local artists and seven national/international artists to come together in the name of public art.

“We wanted to mix local with international and national,” Wirth said. “Our goal is to get Charlotte on the map as a festival city for murals. This is definitely a multi-million if not a billion dollar industry around the world. Charlotte, we have artists here — we have talent. As we were coming up with the festival, we were like, ‘Why are we leaving town to go do this? We should do it here’.”

Artists began arriving on Wednesday and painted through Sunday. Due to the rain, many of them lost two days of work but still managed to come out with 16 completed, detailed show-stopping pieces.

Sponsorships from local businesses really helped to make this happen, DeLarge said. One of the sponsors was the Hyatt House, which entered the local arts scene in a big way after glass windows were broken during protests in the wake of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. The Hyatt House’s Matt Allen invited artists to paint on the plywood temporarily boarding up the space. Those plywood pieces become works of art.

Hyatt House came through again with hotel rooms for some of the artists, DeLarge said. “One of the artists got to stay in his room across the street from his wall. That’s a dream come true.”

In addition to hotel rooms, each artist was given supplies, including paint and lifts. Many local sponsors offered food. Other businesses gave money. Each artist was paid $1,000.

For the business owners that offered up a wall to paint, they also gave up all creative control — all of the art was the artist’s choice. The only rule was that nothing vulgar would be painted. The business owners all agreed to keep the art for at least a year.

This celebratory event captured the powerful impact of public art in our community by revitalizing neglected spaces, inspiring cross community dialogue and raising the arts tourism profile of our city by cultivating new voices of creative expression, said artist liaison and Talking Walls ambassador Sydney DuarteCharlottes creative community is blossoming.

Here is a look at the Talking Walls murals, but they are better experienced live — so use this as a map to drive around and see for yourself:

7th Sin Tattoo

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo7NERpAot2/?taken-by=talkingwallscharlotte

See it live: 927 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: JEKS
Based in: Greensboro

Abari Game Bar

See it live: 1721 N Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Gus Cutty
Based in: Asheville

Chasers

See it live: 3217 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Ramiro Davaro-Comas
Based in: Brooklyn, New York

Hal Marshall Building

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo9S24nAVJW/?taken-by=talkingwallscharlotte

See it live: 700 N Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Artist: Sebastian Coolidge
Based in: St. Petersburg, Florida

Hal Marshall Annex

See it live: 618 N College St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Artist: Nick Napoletano
Based in: Charlotte

Ink Floyd

Photo by Melissa Oyler

See it live: 1101 E. 36th Street, Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Trasher
Based in: Mexico City, Mexico

InnerVision

Photo by Katherine Kirchner

See it live: 408 E Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Artist: Hoxxoh
Based in: Miami

Mecklenburg Valve

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo1YuKCHD3F/?hl=en&taken-by=dentonburrows

See it live: 2407 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Denton Burrows
Based in: New York City

Moo & Brew

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo9qi6Th0bW/?hl=en&taken-by=madmanart

See it live: 1300 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: MDMN
Based in: Phoenix

Pizza Peel

Photo by Houston Ray

See it live: 1600 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Darion Fleming
Based in: Charlotte

Pure Intentions

Photo by Katherine Kirchner

See it live: 2215 N Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28204
Artist: Arko and Owl
Based in: Charlotte

Salon 1226

Photo by Houston Ray

See it live: 1226 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Garden of Journey
Based in: Charlotte

Spirit Square

Photo by Katherine Kirchner

See it live: 345 N College St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Artist: Dammit Wesley
Based in: Charlotte

Spoke Easy

See it live: 1530 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204
Artist: OBSO
Based in: Charlotte

Tip Top Market

View this post on Instagram

Here is my finished piece for #talkingwallscharlotte. “Almost Gone” 70’ x 11’ aerosol on brick. The subject matter is native NC species that are marked “critically endangered” which means the next level is extinct. Inspired by my 7yo asking me “what does ‘extinct’ mean” and the latest IPCC climate change report. From left to right: #easterncougar #noondayglobesnail #vabigearedbat #bogturtle #stfrancisbutterfly #greensalamander #woodstork #flyingsquirrel #shortnosesturgeon #gopherfrog #redwolf #rightwhale I could have included many other plants and animals but the wall wasn’t a mile long. Thanks so much to all my bros @tiptopmarketnc for providing the canvas, @alxdlrg @mikewirth @imekstudios and especially my man @dadintentions for including me in @talkingwallscharlotte. So excited to see the future of street art and art in general growing like wildfire in my hometown. Please check out @southerntigercollective they are doing great things for the art community in CLT. Also check out all the other walls. There are some real stunners all over the city right now.

A post shared by The Mural Shop (@themuralshop) on

See it live: 2902 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Scott Nurkin
Based in: Chapel Hill

Tire Maxx

Photo by Melissa Oyler

See it live: 2609 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
Artist: Pucho
Based in: Miami

Tryon Street Alley

See it live: 200 South Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Artist: McMonster
Based in: Portland

If you’re still driving around and haven’t gotten your fill, artists have been busy all year creating new pieces all over the city. Check out some of 2018’s newest murals here and here — Charlotte even has murals that move.

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