Carolina Beach Mural Project president speaks on the project’s success and how public art gets made
CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - The Carolina Beach Mural Project has brought several striking murals to the town of Carolina Beach over the past two years. The artwork brings vibrancy and creativity, but it never could have been made if weren’t for Maureen Lewis and the CBMP working with artists to make it happen.
We spoke with Lewis about how these murals got made and the success of the project.
“I’m not an artist, I really just am a project manager, but the artists really have such an eye. And a lot of times they’ll give us a concept, and it always gets better on the wall just because of the scale and the colors that they use and then how it works with the buildings that are next to it. So it’s always a spectacular event when we have the final product.”
The project has been far more successful than first anticipated. Back in September of 2020, they planned to bring four murals in the coming years and had just begun work on the first mural. Now, 12 artists have created 12 murals with a 13th planned for September.
Murals are located across the town: “Surf and See” was painted by Carla Garrison-Mattos at the Veggie Wagon and “Marine Magic” was painted by Raman Bhardwaj on the side of The Dive.
“We look at the buildings and we see if there’s any historical relevance, and if there isn’t, then we looked at ‘how do we celebrate our culture?’ Because you’ll hear a lot that Carolina Beach is very funky, and we have a lot to celebrate on the island,” said Lewis. “As long as we have themes to celebrate and to paint, we’ll keep doing the project.”
Local businesses and community members chip in to make the murals a reality. Sponsors range from the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County to local businesses like TipTop Frame and the Savannah Inn.
“We’re really excited with how the community embraced what we’re doing. Because we couldn’t do it without them; we raised over $100,000 in the last two years. $5 here, $5000 there,” she said. “Everyone really has just chipped in to make this something they’re proud of.”
The Carolina Beach Mural Project is a nonprofit organization; you can learn more about them and see how you can visit the murals at their website.
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