In July 2014, an artist put the finishing touches on a mural in the North Carolina city of High Point.
The man in question, lifelong Winston-Salem resident Kendall Doub, chose to depict a northern cardinal, the state bird. The choice was as much in keeping with tradition as it was to complement an existing work of art. Another artist had recently painted a mural featuring a frog on a different wall of the same building where Doub’s redbird now appears.
According to Triad City Beat, Doub “intentionally picked a safe and conservative theme, because this piece is about something bigger than his canvas.”
That bigger idea is known as The High Point Mural Project, an effort to stimulate interest in public art – and more.
“People here are screaming for it,” Doub said, going on to note that cultural activity isn’t exactly thriving in High Point. “They want more substance in their community.”
Takin that idea one step further, the High Point Mural project later announced an Indiegogo campaign to bring a fabled Portland, OR. muralist to town
The goal? To use murals (and, presumably, other public art) as an outsized advertisement promoting the idea that the Triad region of North Carolina is supportive of creativity and innovation. This, in turn, could help create conversations about revitalizing the region.
High Point was chosen, the campaign’s creators say, because the city has thrived for years thanks to its many furniture manufacturers – even though furniture manufacturing has moved out of other cities in the United States, leaving many of those areas struggling to get back on their collective feet.
Even one mural, the creators say, would have an enormous effect on promoting important ideas, providing validation to the artist who makes it and creating opportunities for collaboration with others.
It’s a testament to the power of large-scale statement that enhances and ennobles an existing framework – whether an historic building, a public gathering place or even the humble surroundings of your own home.