Mural Magic

Those bold murals popping up all around Charlotte are quickly becoming the most instagrammable spots in the city. Here’s a look at some and the meaning behind them.

BLKTECHCLT at Camp North End

Artist: Dammit Wesley

Where: 1824 Statesville Ave.

Dammit Wesley created a mural depicting BLKTECHCLT at Camp North End, next door to his studio space BlkMrktCLT. “I wanted to create something that said Afrofuturism, based in the imagination of what could and the reality of what is black creativity at its apex,” Wesley said. “The Goddess at the end was placed there for protection.”

Crescent NOVEL Stonewall Station

Artist: Osiris Rain

Where: 400 E. Stonewall St.

In the inner courtyard at NOVEL Stonewall, Osiris Rain is creating five pieces that include three figures in grayscale, with monarch butterflies flowing throughout. “The Monarchs are also a symbol of transition and change as well as a symbol for the natural human right of movement and immigration,” Rain said. “I feel that they are an appropriate symbol for our city given the speed at which we are growing.”

 Dupp&Swat at Camp North End

Artist: John Hairston

Where: 1824 Statesville Ave., Suite 109

John Hairston painted a mural inside Dupp&Swat for the grand opening of Digger’s Delight pop-up shop, selling vinyl records.

Let’s Meat Kbbq

Artists: Matt Hooker and Matt Moore, along with Tucker Sward

Where: 1400 S. Church St.

The Matts have two new murals here, one of a tiger and one depicting Marilyn Monroe in a hanbok.

Seventh Sin Tattoo Company

Artists: Southern Tiger Collective’s Alex D and Dustin Moates

Where: 927 Central Ave.

Southern Tiger Collective artists Alex D and Dustin made a statement on the side of Seventh Sin Tattoo with their newest piece, showing villain Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War. “The guys at the tattoo shop I guess are just really into the movie or I guess that character, so they contacted Southern Tiger because they knew we have a bunch of artists who could execute that mural for them,” Alex D. said. “We got a really good response to it, which was cool.”

 Skylark

Artist: JEKS

Where: 2131 Central Ave.

Pabst Blue Ribbon commissioned Brian Lewis, aka JEKS, to create a new mural on the side of ‘n’ roll neighborhood bar Skylark. Skylark’s business model is to keep music and arts alive, so it was only fitting that JEKS decided to place Elvis front and center. “There was some banter about it once he painted the wall white, but I do not think folks knew what to expect,” Skylark owner Justin Driscoll said. “After his second day, when the portrait of Elvis’ face was complete, we all got pretty giddy about it.’”

Fun facts: Midwood is written on the left, rock is on the right and in the middle, T.C.B. with the lightning bolt represents the Elvis-coined catchphrase, Taking Care of Business in a Flash.

 Smooth Monkey

Artist: Ashley Graham

Where: 1801 Commonwealth Ave.

With fresh produce dancing into a blender on the side of a new smoothie and acai bowl shop, who wouldn’t want to eat (and drink) fresh?

 Southern Tiger Collective

Artist: Southern Tiger Collective’s Alex D

Where: 2029 N. Davidson St.

Southern Tiger recently hosted an all-female creative art show. “In honor of that, I painted a Frida portrait behind the building,” artist Alex D said.

 The Nest at Camp North End

Artist: Marcus Kiser

Where: 1776 Statesville Ave.

Marcus Kiser is creating a new mural inside The Nest, the new Google Fiber-sponsored space inside Hygge. “The concept revolves around the magic touch, connection and growth of technology in that community,” Kiser said.

The Nook

Artists: Matt Hooker and Matt Moore, along with Tucker Sward

Where: 1421 Central Ave.

When The Matts set out to create their latest mural, Poseidon, on the side of an apartment building, they wanted to create something that showed permanence and tribute. “A statue is a specific thing that lasts a long time and pays homage to something and is a symbol in itself,” Hooker said. The artists painted with red on the right, blue on the left, to symbolize the state of the country. “We’re sick of the back and forth; we’d rather see a lot more purple in the world.” Purple also represents royalty, the Queen City and synergy overall, Hooker said. “It’s a two-sided meaning; Matt and I are OK on our own, but we’re better together.”

 The Peculiar Rabbit

Artists: Southern Tiger Collective’s Mike Wirth and Dustin Moates

Where: 1212 Pecan Ave.

Charlotte, meet Vinny the Rabbit. Southern Tiger Collective’s Mike Wirth and Dustin Moates created a rabbit holding a large beer stein in Van Gogh’s Starry Night-style, Wirth said. The mural “captures the Bohemian aura that is fiercely alive in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood,” he said.

UNC Charlotte Uptown

Artist: Osiris Rain

Where: 320 E. Ninth St.

Take a visit to UNC Charlotte Uptown for a glimpse of two new murals by Osiris Rain. One is on the first floor, one is on the second floor in the student lounge; both are visible from the street. “Those two murals ‘interact’ with each other in a theme of call and response communication,” Rain said. “Open and unfettered dialogue is the foundation of education and a diversity of thought and perspective.”

 Urban Ministry Center

Artists: Marcus Kiser and Antoine Williams

Where: 945 N. College St.

As part of a McColl Center residency program, Marcus Jones and Antoine Williams created an abstract mural called “A Tale of Two Cities” at Urban Ministries. Jones and Williams hired homeless assistants as part of an unofficial apprenticeship. The mural is designed to raise awareness for affordable housing needs in Charlotte. The artists chose purple and lavender tones for the mural to create a serene feel, with linear lines that begin by representing motion. “Then we broke them off to show this is a place to stop and relax,” Jones said.

 Wooden Robot

Artist: Southern Tiger Collective’s Owl

Where: 1440 S. Tryon St. #110

Southern Tiger Collective’s Owl created a mural for Wooden Robot Brewery’s new lounge. “Since my work is abstract, I decided to react to the architecture and space that was provided,” Owl said. “They wanted to set a more intimate private setting for this room since it will be used for private events. In return, the composition I came with translates into a calm and mesmerizing atmosphere that will have you get lost in it if you visit.”