Luminous Lane is the alley transformed by muralists and street artists during Charlotte Shout 2023. Artists Sydney Duarte and Treazy Treaz curated a collection of over 40 artists to fill this alley with light and color and turn this neglected urban space to an inviting and welcoming, art filled alley. Luminous Lane and the Luminous Lane ArtWalk are sponsored by Charlotte Center City Partners. For additional information on the project and artists, check out https://www.thetravelinggypsy.org/luminouslane
PARKING: Available on the surrounding streets at meters, or paid parking in decks or lots
TRANSIT: Blue Line Light Rail from Convention Center or Transit Center
In this portrait, artist Sydney Duarte honors spiritual and political leader Benki Piyako. Piyako’s healing work in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil is a source of inspiration and light for this artist. Notice the bright star that Piyako sends shooting from his hand into Luminous Lane. Also note the realism in the face where Duarte expertly renders highlights and shadows to create form.
No one quite does hyper-realism like the internationally known artist Jeks. Jeks paints smooth visual texture in the cheeks, individual strands of hair falling softly around the child’s face, and eyes so real you’d swear it was a photograph. And he does this with cans of spray paint. Jeks paints his nephew as a nod to the light in all children.
Graffiti artist and muralist Joey Obso brings us the SUN! Rising right below some traditional bubble style lettering spelling out Luminous Lane, the sun anchors this large section of the building. Can you find the artist’s name in graffiti? Obso is known for his fanciful, detailed, and stylized lettering. Also find one of his characters in a classic graffiti combination of lettering and characters.
The Primed N Ready artistic team created “Char LIT” on a very difficult section of wall. With a delicate touch and soft shading, the artists paint a landscape of the Charlotte skyline and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The fireflies remind us that no matter how small we are, we each can shine brightly. In a fun twist, notice the industrial buildings with the graffiti on the walls.
Swych19 (real name unknown…because well, he’s a graffiti artist) paints up above on one of the upper panels of the parking garage. One of Charlotte’s OG and well-known street artists, Swych19 loves fun, expressive characters. This character holds a pencil, a basic drawing media, which symbolizes creativity. Be creative and it will bring you light! Notice the traditional use of bold outline on his character, a very street artsy choice.
John Hairston is a kid at heart and a kid that loves comics. And also a big-time professor of art at Winthrop University. His character, Jagolactus, is inspired by the Marvel Comics series and symbolizes the inner child in all of us not afraid to use their imagination and be creative. Look carefully at the toy he flies…it’s the Silver Surfer, a Marvel Comics superhero.
Erik Woodall paints a portrait of singer, song-writer Natalie Carr, a Charlotte-based emerging musical talent. The swirls of abstract color and bright white light bring energy and creativity to this mural. Woodall had a difficult wall to work with given the recessed spaces. Consider how the artist uses the strong portrait on the left and the bold use of white on the right side to create balance.
Mitzi Patton celebrates the Day of the Dead in her small but colorful mural in the most unlikely of places. Candles, masks, flowers, flags, all are meant to celebrate the joy and light of our ancestors. Oh, and do you see what she did with the concrete post? She made it part of her art installation by turning it into a candle! Bravo!
It’s Kiki the cat. A personal symbol and icon for the artist Jason Parker, Kiki looks out over the alley and brings a rainbow of color to a hidden crevice of the alley. Bold black outlines frame the kitty, and the symmetry draws us in closer. What’s your personal mascot or do you need to adopt Kiki? Follow the dripping paint all the way down the stairs until it spills out on the alley.
Architect and artist Emerson Stoldt works in wheat paste. Wheat pasting is a street art technique that allows artists to adhere paper or posters to a wall with a mixture of flour and water. Two beautiful flamingos here represent finding someone or something that give you light when you need it.
Carolito Quartz paints the Northern crested Caracara (Mexican Eagle) filling several stories of this alley. In Native American culture this bird brings protection and good luck. In amazing detail, the artist paints feathers, with soft visual texture as the bird stands watch over the alley. Above, and best viewed from the second level of the garage, perhaps the spirit of the bird brings light back and forth from our worlds. Note how the upper bird is rendered in the same colors as Sydney Duarte’s mural of a spiritual leader.
In the ultimate “wall flower,” Osiris Rain inspires us yet again with his colorful creation based in nature. Internationally known muralist and painter, Rain calls Charlotte home and we are lucky to have quite a few of his murals around town. Many of his murals feature flowers and this one is a imaginative lily. Tucked away on a dark corner of the alley, the flower symbolizes the ability we all have to create something out of a challenging situation.
Ann Duarte of the Duarte Designs team honors a friend who passed away by painting her favorite tulip. Playing with the scale of the tulip allows the viewer to be surrounded by the light and beauty of this flower. Take a minute to spot the perfectly rendered and realistic water droplets and marvel in the artist’s skills.
In his mural titled, “I am exactly precisely where I am meant to be,” artist Gray Edgerton gives us a map of a spiritual journey. Spiritual teachers on the left and right guide you. Mushrooms suggests wisdom in our natural world and the snake suggests fear which sometimes blocks our path. The rainbow suggests following your own path and seeing that joy when you do as the ice cream along the journey. A moongate, circular passageway, centers the composition and provides the radial balance for this immersive mural.
Do you see your favorite animated character in the stairwell? Scott Whiteside is another artist that specializes in wheat paste. Using posters, or paper, he uses a mixture of flour and water to attach these classic designs. Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket, Cleo the fish, Figaro the car and the blue fairy are all classic cartoon and are Scott’s passion.
Matt Moore must be credited with so much of the mural renaissance in Charlotte right now. He’s OG. And this is his LOVE letter to the City of Charlotte’s artist community. Hyper-realism rules here with this softly modeled portrait in a black and white value scale. Color comes in two places – the neon pink sign and one other place in the mural. Can you find it?