image40
image41

Mural

Location: 307 Lincoln Street

Artist: E.C Laney

Date: 2015

Media: Acrylic

Artist Info: Facebook “Up a Wall”


Story: This mural is a great starting place for the Gold District ArtWalk. The Gold District, named after the discovery of gold and the operation of gold mines in the area, is a small section of South End with general boundaries of Morehead, Summit, Church and Graham Streets. The Gold District is undergoing a revitalization with support from business owners and the city. Art is playing a role in its redevelopment and this mural is one of the first pieces commissioned in the district.  Pro Tip: Catch the mural at twilight or evening and see the elements that light up!


Key Formal Elements:

  • Polychromatic color scheme
  • Large flat areas of color limit the illusion of depth

Make the Connection:

Signature buildings and South End neighborhood icons are positioned in front of the Charlotte skyline profile and draw your eye around the mural. Take a short visual tour of the neighborhood by locating some of these icons. Does every cool neighborhood have a water tower? Queen Charlotte hoisting craft beer in imitation of the pose of a well-known airport sculpture is a nod to our history and to the present craft breweries. The transformative light rail train creates diagonal movement of progress through old neighborhoods like Wilmore.  Take note of some of the business names as you continue your walk in the Gold District.

image42

Wake the Queen

Location: 307 Lincoln Street

Artist: Sam Guzzie

Date: 2017

Media: Acrylic

Artist Info:  @samguzzie


Story:  Meet Queen Charlotte, the city of Charlotte’s namesake.  Princess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in Germany married England’s King George III at the age of 17. Known as Queen Charlotte, she served as the Queen of Great Britain from her wedding in 1761 until her death in 1818. There are two other important portraits of Queen Charlotte in the city which serve as inspiration for this mural by @samguzzie. In the Mint Museum Randolph, a coronation portrait of the queen is a must see. A more contemporary perspective of her highness, complete with social commentary, is on display at the Mint Museum Uptown. 


  

Key Formal Elements:

  • Secondary colors of green and orange
  • Notice the highlights on the tip of her nose, chin and cheekbones

Make the Connection:

Artist Sam Guzzie creates a connection between this mural and the two other Queen Charlotte artworks. In a formal pose similar to the pose in the Mint Randolph version, the artist features some of the beautiful textures of the Queen’s coronation dress. The musical notes on her bodice are a nod to the queen as a patron of the arts. Queen Charlotte was also known as the “botanist queen,” signified by the flowers and greenery creeping up over the bottom of her dress. In her hair and in her hands are birds of paradise flowers similar to the contemporary piece at the Mint Uptown. An exotic, tropical flower, birds of paradise originated from the African continent. The artist says, “my goal was to capture a bit of that history and get people researching the real Queen Charlotte.” Perhaps her piece is a comment on recent research that alludes to Queen Charlotte’s African ancestry. 

image43

People the River

Location: 307 Lincoln Street in the alley

Artist: Miouxnie Rane West

Date: 2018

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info: @miouxnie


Story:  From your first step into the Riva Finoli Passage, you are transformed. An industrial, gritty alley is now an inviting, intimate, sparkling walkway full of overhead lights, planters, and fountains. There are six murals planned for this passageway; and the first one is about half way down the right wall if you enter from Lincoln Street. This mural was completed with a grant from the South End Creative Lab, a creative micro-grant program sponsored by Historic South End. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Abstract
  • Polychromatic color scheme

Make the Connection:

Artist Miouxnie Rane West draws upon the earliest history of this geographical area. Before there were gold mines and farmers battling the British during the American Revolution, Catawba Indians lived on this land. The artist makes several references to the Native American culture in her painting. Can you locate the dream catcher? Find the eyes of the profile of a figure complete with a colorful headdress. History will continue to be told through art in the future murals planned for these spaces.

image44

Mural

Location: Rivafinoli Passageway at 307 Lincoln Street

Artist: Lo’Vonia Parks

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @lovoniaparks


Story: This mural is sponsored by Brand the Moth and their META Mural Artists Residency Program. Brand the Moth is a non-profit organization creating community based public art projects and supporting emerging artists with the META residency opportunity. Lo’Vonia Parks is an artist from their inaugural residency program. Parks is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design and makes the transition from a caricature and illustration artistic career into her first mural. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Strong use of contour line and outline in the face
  • Implied line of the light bulb and his line of sight

Make the Connection:

Meet Thomas Edison. The artist portrays Edison who came to Charlotte in 1890 after the discovery of gold. It was thought that gold may be mined through the use of electricity. While Edison did not end up using his invention for gold mining, he did work with the developers of Dilworth to create Charlotte’s first electric streetcar. What symbols of the streetcar can you find in the mural? What symbols tell of the connection to gold mining?

image45

Mural

Location: Rivafinoli Passageway at 307 Lincoln Street

Artist: Franklin Kearnes

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @fk.creative


Story: This mural is sponsored by Brand the Moth and their META Mural Artists Residency Program. Brand the Moth is a non-profit organization creating community based public art projects and supporting emerging artists with the META residency opportunity. Franklin Kearnes is an artist from their inaugural residency program. Kearnes explores mark making in his abstract studio work and continues his trademark symbols here in his first mural.


Key Formal Elements:

  • Strong use of outline
  • Repetition of figures creates rhythm

Make the Connection:

The quote “Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people.” is by Marcus Garvey. Garvey was a civil rights leader and political activist for Black Nationalism. Artists often use their art as a call to action. Reading the quote and considering the image of three faceless people of color struggling under the weight of a large gold nugget, what do you think the message of the artwork is?

image46

Mural

Location: 1430 S. Mint Street

Artist: Dari Calamari

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @daricalamari


Story: This mural is sponsored by Brand the Moth and their META Mural Artists Residency Program. Brand the Moth is a non-profit organization creating community based public art projects and supporting emerging artists with the META residency opportunity. Dari Calamari is an artist from their inaugural residency program. Calimari maintains a strong artistic practice based in abstract exploration of line, color, and shape and this is her first mural. 

 

Key Formal Elements:

  • Organic shapes
  • Patterns

Make the Connection:

Through the use of visual puzzles, blobs, portals and patterns, Calimari gives the viewer an abstract visual feast of colors and shapes. You the viewer are invited to this visual delight to take the time to let your eyes tell you what this means.  

image47

Mural

Location: 412 W. Palmer Street at Palmer Game Bar

Artist: Irisol Gonzalez

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @irisolgonzalezart


Story: This mural is sponsored by Brand the Moth and their META Mural Artists Residency Program. Brand the Moth is a non-profit organization creating community based public art projects and supporting emerging artists with the META residency opportunity. Irisol Gonzalez is an artist from their inaugural residency program. Gonzalez works mainly in paint, watercolors, and colored pencils and was an artist for the ArtPop Street Gallery in 2019.  


Key Formal Elements:

  • Polychromatic color scheme
  • Variety of flowers and plant types

Make the Connection:

As a Latina raised in the United States, Gonzalez explores her heritage through the use of color and texture. The artist brings the flora and fauna of tropical Central America to an urban street corner. The inclusion of the Blue Macaw, a critically threatened bird native to South America and a bee, whose populations are in severe decline, could be a call to environmentalism. What messages may the variety of flowers and plants have in this context?

image48

QCity Angels

Location: 1501 S. Mint Street

Artist: Rosalia Torres-Weiner

Date: 2018

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info:  @redcalacastudio


Story:  On the side wall of Max & Lola Bodega, Torres-Weiner creates a distinct pair of artworks by dividing the wall in two.  The upper part features our very recognizable skyline with the Duke Energy “handlebar” tower and the crown of the Bank of America. Look at the wall and then turn the other way to see the skyline in full view. The lower half of the wall features four pairs of angel wings and colorful flowers. 


Key Formal Elements: 

  • Complementary colors of blue and orange in the upper half of the mural create a strong contrast
  • Black is used as an outline for shapes in the lower half of the mural

Make the Connection:

Step into the angel wings.  Yes, put on your pair of angel wings. There are wings for adults, for children and even dogs. Be encouraged to seek your dreams with the inscription, “What good are wings, without the courage to fly.”  

image49

Wilmore Gold Mine

Location: 1501 S. Mint Street

Artist: Tim Parati

Date: 2018 

Media: Acrylic

Artist Info: @timparati


Story:  Artist Tim Parati creates two fun murals on the exterior walls of Max & Lola Bodega. Both reference the mining history of the Gold District. In 1799, gold was discovered in this area. By the 1830s, the Rudisill Gold Mine was operated by an Italian Count. At its peak in 1891, the Gold Rush in Charlotte included over 60 operating mines and over $2.6 million in mined gold. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Linear perspective of the train tracks
  • Notice the change in scale of the supports which reinforces the vanishing point


Make the Connection:

Imagine working in the mines. The artist uses strong linear perspective to create the sense of descending down, way down into the tunnels where the gold was found. It is said that there are still tunnels running underneath the streets of the Gold District. To the left of the primary mural is a playful mural with dogs in the mining car. The business located here is named after the owner’s two dogs, Max and Lola, and features a dog courtyard on the other side.

image50

Street Art

Location:  Intersection of S. Mint Street at W. Park Avenue

Artist: Darion Fleming

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @da.flemingo


Story: This project is a partnership between the City of Charlotte and Centralina Council of Governments for the OpenStreets704 biking celebration in Fall 2019.  During the OpenStreets704 festival, the artist and members of the community painted this traffic calming street art. Darion Fleming is a local, talented artist who got his start designing cans of beer for local breweries. He quickly moved to a much larger scale designing walls for Catawba Brewery and Divine Barrel. With two major murals on the Plaza-Midwood ArtWalk, he explores subject matter of animals but with a twist. Here a fish makes another appearance but on the street.


Key Formal Elements:

  • Outline used consistently
  • Cool colors of the water and warm colors of the body of the fish

Make the Connection:

Traffic calming art? Yes, traffic calming art got its start in Portland, Oregon in the 1990s. The idea is that colorful street art will get driver’s attention, cause a momentary pause, and alert the driver to the area around them. Do you have an idea for traffic calming in your neighborhood? Great, the City of Charlotte has a “Paint the Pavement” program and you can apply through the Charlotte Placemaking Hub on the city’s website. What about the giant fish in a turning radius makes you want to slow down the car? 

image51

Panther Mural

Location: 1600 S. Mint Street

Artist: George Howard

Date: 2014

Media: Acrylic

Artist Info: @thephogsolo


Story:  A large, growling panther is featured above “Charlotte” written out in a swirling cursive style that suggests graffiti. This mural is located on the side wall of the Pasta & Provisions store in a historic one-story Wilmore shopfront. Easy to see from the street, the mural makes a great welcome as you head into uptown Charlotte and the Panthers stadium.


Key Formal Elements: 

  • Outline is used to form the letters in “Charlotte”
  • Color scheme of mainly cool colors

Make the Connection:

The mural was commissioned by the artist’s brother, who bought a house nearby and thought the blank wall was unappealing. If you walked the extra block down to this artwork location, then you likely passed several blank walls along your way. Imagine what could be on those walls if business owners and neighbors commissioned more art! On your walk back, come up with a scheme for each one.