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Arts & Culture
These articles were excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

Murals Taking Over The Streets Of Charlotte

Jodie Valade
This mural by artist Makayla Binter is just outside Biddleville Park near Johnson C. Smith University.

The next time you go out for a walk in your neighborhood, take a look down. You might be strolling alongside a new visual masterpiece.

Fifteen local artists are painting murals on streets throughout the city during June as part of the city of Charlotte’s Urban Design Center and Office of Sustainability Shared Streets Mural project. 

The project began June 4, and is expected to be completed June 25. All the murals are painted directly on the street in special traffic paint. A map of where each mural is located can be found here.

Credit Jodie Valade / WFAE
This mural by Rosalia Weiner is at 1035 Harrill St. in the Belmont neighborhood.

They’re bright bursts of color splashed atop an otherwise gray and drab background, adding life to pavement throughout the area. According to the city, the murals are meant to “capture the impact of COVID-19 and the resiliency and sustainability” of Charlotte.

“One of the positives with street art is that the city owns all the public streets,” said Charlotte Lamb, associate urban designer and planner for the city. “If you think about it, that’s a huge canvas for us to employ local artists and share community ideas through.”

Each mural is purposely crafted six feet wide – narrower than the width of an average car's tires -- in an attempt to prevent wear and tear from cars driving over them. The hope is that each mural could last up to two years.

Each artist was paid $1,000 to create and paint the mural, with the city also chipping in for paint supplies. Artists were selected from the city's Placemaking Artist Pool, which was chosen in February. In all, the project cost $22,000.

Murals were assigned to locations based on community feedback collected through an online survey. The city checked with all nearby property owners to ensure that the murals would be welcome.

“We have generally only done street art in traffic devices like crosswalks and bump-outs,” Lamb said. “I believe this is the first time we’ve let the murals be free standing in a lane. We’re really just testing and trying some new things.”

Credit Jodie Valade / WFAE
This mural by Britt Flood is just outside the entrance to Chantilly Park.

This story originally appeared in our weekly arts and entertainment newsletter, Tapestry. Subscribe here