Charlotte Artists Fight COVID-19 With New Community Murals
A series of new COVID-19-themed murals are appearing in the front windows of five Charlotte businesses as part of a new project organized by Count on Me CLT and Charlotte is Creative.
Two of them went up over the weekend — one at the West End Fresh Seafood Market on Beatties Ford Road and the other at Tabla Indian Restaurant in Ballantyne — with the rest on way later this month.
"Our goal was to try to find a way to spread COVID-19 safety information into communities that sometimes are overlooked with such efforts," said Tim Miner of Charlotte is Creative.
He said a coalition of local groups sought out local businesses with good front-facing windows and deep roots in their communities, and each was matched with a local artist.
At the West End Seafood Market Friday night, artist Ricky Singh was carefully using spraypaint on the store's windows to create a colorful set of hands signing the word LOVE.
"You'll also see a lot of positive messages once it's finished," he said. He planned to include messages of hope and ways the community can limit COVID-19 transmission.
"I hope it brings them some joy," Singh said. "I hope they take pictures, I hope it brings something to a historic place like this, and I hope other businesses see it as an opportunity to bring some more color or art to their own doorstep."
Artist Girish Nair spent most of Saturday covering the windows of Tabla Indian Restaurant in Ballantyne with two masked faces staring down a virus reaching toward them with human hands.
"This should open up their mind that the virus can reach out to you," he said. "You don't have to reach out to the virus, so make sure you maintain the distance."
He said he had lost two friends to COVID-19 during the pandemic, and he wanted his design to remind people to keep following safety guidelines.
"That's the reason why it's very important to respect others by wearing the mask. It's not only protecting you, it's protecting others," he said. "It can go south in a moment."
The murals are meant to be temporary. Each business has agreed to keep the murals up for at least three months.
The next mural will be painted by artist Irisol Gonzalez at Monolo's Bakery on Oct. 24. Organizers will announce future dates and locations.
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