Organizations, artists hope to expand public art in downtown Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you've visited downtown Raleigh lately, you may have noticed a pop of color catching your eye.

New murals and art installations are taking over city buildings, sidewalks and public squares.

At the AT&T building, on the corner of McDowell Street and Hargett Street, a new, eight-story mural of a giant tree made up of brightly-painted blue and green triangles called, "Green City, USA" was dedicated this month.

"The Triangle in general is kind of a combination of organic greenery as well as green tech," said Jedidiah Gant, founder and director of Raleigh Murals Project, of his vision for the mural that was painted by artist Scott Nurkin of Chapel Hill's The Mural Shop.

The mural was completed with support from the city and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

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Downtown Raleigh Alliance president Bill King has been reintroducing downtown to residents and visitors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and said projects like Green City, USA do just that.

"It's very tall but at the ground level there is a spot where you can interact with it," he said.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance and City of Raleigh have supported multiple projects across downtown over the last year. King said in order to expand existing murals and create more, it will take buy-in from property owners and the public.

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"I think it does help when people see what we can do as a community. We've had property owners be really receptive and say, 'yeah, I think I get this,'" said King.

Gant said supporting the arts is something anyone can and should do, as the art being created in the Capital City is not only meant to catch your eye, but send a message.

"Having a city that is very beautiful--texturally but also colorful--and also represents the values and the vision of our city I think is really important," he said.
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