Arts & Culture

Best Murals In Charlotte

September 30, 2013 8:00 AM

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(Photo credit RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

In recent years, a growing number of outdoor murals have made Charlotte a more colorful and interesting place. Davidson Street, main drag of the NoDa entertainment district, was an early leader in this trend and continues to be the most art-filled corridor in town. Central Avenue, which passes through the hip Plaza-Midwood neighborhood, runs a close second. South End and Dilworth have an increasing number of murals as well, while a group of students are bringing poetry to the Center City. Charlotte murals even have their own Facebook page.
Charlotte Art League
1517 Camden Road
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 376-2787

With more than 100 artists among its members, the Art League offers a mix of affordable studio space, classes and community outreach to the Charlotte art community and its public gallery in the South End anchors the monthly First Friday gallery crawl. The building’s exterior exhibits several murals, including 20 small panels created by the Community Mosaic Project on the front of the building, and, on the wall facing the parking lot, a large, Picasso-esque mural by Carlleena Person. The mural, filled with bold images of faces, was one of the last projects completed by this young artist before her untimely death.

Chris Stain Mural
McColl Center for Visual Art
Innovation Institute
801 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 332-5535

Originally a graffiti artist in his native Baltimore, Maryland, Chris Stain has evolved into one of the foremost figures in New York’s Brooklyn Street Art movement, a major force on the urban contemporary art scene. His work reflects social themes, with images of both despair and hope on the streets of U.S. cities. The McColl Center invited Stain to be an artist in residence during the run-up to the Democratic National Convention in 2012. During that residency, Stain created an outdoor mural on the wall of McColl’s Innovation Institute in his signature red-line spray-painted style that depicts locals against a background of the city skyline and Carowinds coaster.

“Continuum” by Ben Long
Transamerica Square
401 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202

Charlotte has more frescos, a kind of mural created by painting on fresh plaster, than any other city in the country, thanks to North Carolina artist Ben Long, who studied the nearly defunct Renaissance art form in Italy. “Continuum” in the entrance arch of Transamerica Square was Ben Long’s first outside fresco and his first dome painting, a challenging project on the curved, 15-foot-tall surface. Long included many local and regional icons in the composition, including the Chapel Hill’s blue ram mascot and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, along with portraits of Hugh McColl, Charlotte musicians and artists and a self-portrait, standard in all of his works. Other Long frescos occupy the lobbies of the Bank of America Corporate Center and the Law Enforcement Center (601 E. Trade Street), and the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall.

Related: Best Charlotte Businesses With Art Galleries

Matheson Bridge Mural
N. Davidson St. and Matheson Ave.

This mural, created by NoDa artist William Puckett, depicts the events leading up to the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in May, 1775. Located on the walls and supports of the underpass where Matheson crosses over North Davidson, the colorful mural depicting British redcoats and Mecklenburg patriots was unveiled as part of the annual MecDec celebration in 2012. Puckett, a proponent of public art, is the artist responsible for several other murals along North Davidson, including “Als Ich Chan: A Tribute to NoDa” on the wall of Jack Beagle’s, featuring pictures of more than 200 NoDa “regulars,” the “Trips for Kids” mural at the non-profit Bike ReCyclery at 15th and N. Davidson, the humorous “Hey Diddle, Diddle…” at 28th Street and an almost-mural—the atrium floor inside NoDa@28th.

Wall Poems of Charlotte
118 W. 5th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202

Developed by the Central Piedmont Community College graphic arts department, this project aims to bring poetry – in the form of giant murals – to the people of Uptown Charlotte. The first – “Salute” by A.R. Ammons – recently appeared on the side wall of Dandelion Market at 138 W. Fifth Street near the corner of Church, but many more are planned. CPCC graphic design students create a unique typographical layout for each poem, then mural artist Scott Nurkin paints the design onto donated walls in the Center City. All poems are by North Carolina writers.

Related: Best Public Art In Uptown Charlotte

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

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