Raleigh mural artist honors NC State's graduating seniors

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The free expression tunnel here at NC State is a tradition where members of the campus community spray paint ideas and thoughts. On what should've been graduation weekend, one Raleigh mural artist is showing appreciation and support for the class of 2020.

Sean Kernick has been spray painting since he was 16.

"Matter of fact, I've been painting this tunnel since I was in my young 20s," Kernick said. "It's where I started painting here in the early 2000s. To have this come full circle like this is really amazing."

Sean teamed with the NC State Division of Enrollment to make a place for graduates to come and celebrate their achievement, and in just one day they finished the entire mural.

"This one is particularly special because we want to create something where graduates can come, a place where they are used to coming," he said. "Even though they don't get a big celebration right now they at least can have this."

"It's been a hard reality," said senior Abigail Gillin. "Things like this have really changed how we feel. We've seen it all over social media so far and it's been really exciting that people are really trying to make an effort in the community to make sure we feel like we're getting the graduation we deserve."

The theme of the mural is Wolfpack Family for Life.

"We're excited for where you're going to go and all of the things you're going to do," Kernick said. "Fundamentally, you're family here for life and this mural represents that."

"When you don't get a graduation it's kind of like, I closed my laptop that was it," said senior Allegra Peery. "Done with four years and then we come out here and it's like oh people do care, people are cheering for us and rooting us on and definitely means a lot."

"Sometimes you can get lost in the creative process and making sure it looks good," Kernick said. "Having a moment like that where you see the students actually feeling like there's a special moment to be had amongst a time of such disarray really just hit me right in my heart."
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