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Delight in Dancing

Location: 701 N. Tryon Street

Artist: Pichiavo

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info: @pichiavo


Story:  Two Spanish artists form the internationally known group Pichiavo. Their first mural in Charlotte is a commission for Charlotte Shout in collaboration with Talking Walls.  The artists are well known for their unique combination of classical art and contemporary urban street art.  This Classical Greek goddess comes complete with wet-drapery style clothing and a lyre (a musical instrument) in a contrapposto pose.


Key Formal Elements:

  • Contour lines of the drapery
  • Variety of the graffiti colors

Make the Connection:

The artists have a distinct work style. First, a solid layer of color is applied as a base coat. On the large wall, the base color is blue. On the smaller perpendicular wall, the base color is pink. Next, splotches of additional colors are added, upon which the graffiti is painted. Site-specific simples, or bubble-style lettering, are added for this mural. Find some words that relate to this site. With the wall completely covered in graffiti, the artists then begin a delicate white washing of the form of the figure and add details that give the figure volume. 

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Mural by Napoletano

Location: 801 N. Tryon Street

Artist: Nick Napoletano 

Date: 2017

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info: @napoletanoart


Story: Funded with a Cultural Vision Grant from the Arts & Science Council which stressed building community and financial support from AerialCLT business owners, the artist presents portraits of real women. This group of women is racially diverse and LGBTQ inclusive. The artist found his models with the help of Time Out Youth, a local organization that provides a safe space for youth and support for LGBTQ.


Key Formal Elements:

  • Scale 
  • Complementary colors of blue/orange simplify the background

Make the Connection:

Napoletano illustrates humanity in his hyper-realist portraits. The simple background of limited colors allows you to focus on the exceptional details in the portraits. Notice the modeling or shading of each of the faces. Find the highlights on each one and then begin to appreciate the many different shades of color represented in each face.  

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Ego

Location: 100 E. 11th Street

Artist: Ledania

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @ledania


Story: Internationally known mural artist Ledania is from Bogota, Colombia. She completed this mural for Talking Walls 2019. Her main themes of positivity, happiness, equality, love and self-expression are executed through vibrant colors and shapes. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Polychromatic colors inside the letters
  • Implied motion

Make the Connection:

Ledania gives you a self-help mural. Largely based on her own personal experience in Charlotte waiting on a wall to paint, she felt her ego getting in the way. What is pulling you down with your EGO? What can you do to cut those strings that prevent you from letting go of your EGO? As your self-help muralist, the artist wants you to let go of your ego and feel freedom. Have a good day!

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Mural by Hooker & Moore

Location: 100 E. 11th Street

Artist: Matt Hooker and Matt Moore

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @hookermedia and @puckmcgruff


Story: As legendary figures in Charlotte’s mural arts scene, Matt Hooker and Matt Moore have important murals all over the city but this is their first mural for TalkingWalls. Their work is featured in our Mad About Murals artwalks, and our artwalks in Plaza Midwood, NoDa, and Uptown. Stylistically, their work does not easily fit into one brand as you can sometimes say about other mural artists. Their work is highly adaptable to site, their personalities, and message.


Key Formal Elements:

  • Scale. Just consider scale for a moment
  • Complements of yellow and purple create drama

Make the Connection:

So much is going on here. Based on a photograph of @alifeofclarity by @angelica.lobiondo, this portrait done in a black and white value scale celebrates strong women. The insertion of wolf eyes gives the portrait a fierce edge. Read the accompanying text on the mural and think about the message.

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Mural by Coolidge

Location: 700 N. Tryon Street

Artist: Sebastian Coolidge

Date: 2018

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info: @sebastiancoolidge


Story:  Sebastian Coolidge is a Florida-based artist who completed this mural for Talking Walls 2018. A large flower set horizontally in six different painted panels stretches across the façade of the former Hal Marshall County Services Building.


Key Formal Elements:

  • Limited color palette
  • Focal point is the face of the flower

Make the Connection:

Perhaps it is nice to contemplate a flower. A lot of art features flowers. This flower sports a little mix of surrealism and fantasy as the flower has a face. How would you paint a flower?

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Mural by Gleo

Location: 618 N. College Street

Artist: Gleo

Date: 2019

Media: Acrylic Paint

Artist Info: @gleo


Story: Street artist Gleo comes from Cali, Colombia and works internationally. She completed this mural for TalkingWalls 2019. As an artist Gleo is interested in issues of identity, women, and exploring global social issues. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Symmetrical balance
  • Warm colors of red, orange, and pink

Make the Connection:

Identity. Where do we come from? How do we fit in? The artist fills her composition with sensuous, large flowers that surround the main focal point of the mural, the divided face. How does the divided face connect to the issue of identity? 

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Equity

Location: 618 N. College Street

Artist: Nick Napoletano

Date: 2018

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info: @napoletanoart


Story:  In this super-scaled mural completed for Talking Walls, Napoletano features a female mural painter carrying her can of paint and a roller. She overlaps blue and pink painted dots arranged in a pattern similar to the Ishihara Color Blindness eye test. In the far-right corner, a man in a gray suit uses grey paint to cover up the mural. The site of this mural is important. In this area of town, many homeless congregate on the sidewalks and the parking lots. While he was painting, Napoletano spent time listening to them tell their stories.


Key Formal Elements:

  • Scale
  • Symmetrical balance

Make the Connection:

Napoletano’s mural is dripping with symbolism and message. As an avid supporter of women’s empowerment, the artist gives us a larger-than-life size woman artist as the heroine of this mural. How does seeing the woman artist impact your understanding of the word “Equity” written in the color-blind test dots? What do you think of the actions of the gray-suited man in the bottom right? 

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"Night Driving" Wall Poem

Location: 301 E. 9th Street at Charlotte Lab School

Artist: Wall Poems

Date: 2016

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info: @wallpoems, design by @cffrank, painting by @themuralshop


Story: Wall Poems of Charlotte is an effort to integrate poetry into urban areas of the city. The organization has completed over a dozen installations featuring North Carolina poets. “Night Driving” is a poem by William Matthews, an American poet who received his MFA from the University of North Carolina. This installation was funded by the Knight Foundation with support from the building’s owner, Levine Properties. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Symmetrical balance along the corner wall
  • Implied motion

Make the Connection:

How important is the corner of the building here? Matthews’s poems are often described as understated and graceful and at only four lines that is true for this poem. His themes of life cycles and the passage of time are perfect for this corner location between a school and the light rail line. Why?

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Halcyon Idyll I and II and Coexist Murals

Additional Information

Location: Just past the 9th Street Station at underpass

Artist: Sharon Dowell

Date: 2018

Media: Acrylic paint

Artist Info:@sharon_dowell


Story: Federal Transit Administration Circular 9400.1A encourages the inclusion of art in transit systems. According to the circular, "Good design and art can improve the appearance and safety of a facility, give vibrancy to its public spaces, and make patrons feel welcome." In other word, design matters. For the Blue Line, up to 1% of design and construction costs was set aside to create public art. CATS Arts in Transit program hired artists as part of design teams and often the resulting art is integrated into the architecture.


Sharon Dowell painted five separate facades on the 11th Street underpass along the pedestrian trail and the I-277 underpass. 


Key Formal Elements:

  • Saturated colors
  • Asymmetrical balance

Make the Connection:

Dowell’s work revels in abstract and bold, colorful patterns. Grounded in realism and observation, the imagery here flows from architecture, construction, industrial sites, and plans. 


While modern in design, Dowell actually uses a very old technique for transferring her design to the vertical facades. The “pouncing” technique was used by many Renaissance artists to transfer fresco designs. Most famously, Michelangelo used this technique for the Sistine Chapel ceiling. From a digital design, to-scale paper versions are produced, and holes are punched along the main design lines in the paper. Then the artist takes a small bag of powdered charcoal and lightly dabs at the holes so that the charcoal passes through the holes to create the design. Dowell then paints using the transferred designs.