Wilmington Street Mural (east side)

Location: Wilmington Street by the Moore Square Parking Deck. 2018

City of Raleigh commissioned sidewalk murals to decorate the two bicycle parking areas along the street. The design encourages people to use alternative means of transportation and appreciate the outdoor environment. The two parts were painted separately, couple of months apart because the city regulations for each side were different. I used the special asphalt-marking type paint, which is thicker and chalkier than usual wall grade acrylic paint.

East side bicycle parking area is twice as big as the west side one and the bike racks were already installed. The big red flower in the middle is the focal point that ties the mural with the racks. I had to modify parts of my design sketch to work with the terrain, if you will. I don't know how this happened, but somewhere in the city planning process the storm drains slipped through the cracks, because there is not nearly enough of them. The ever so kind Mr. Chavis form the city's transportation department had to torch the pavement to dry it out, even though the temperature was up in the 90s and there was no rain for a couple of days. I had to paint quickly before the water moved back in and made the paint run. 

Working around puddles did teach me that a little water in the paint was a good trick to get it in the cracks. Outlines took two days, and then I missed one day and had to finish all of the color in one day, because the next day was July 4th. You are welcome Raleigh : ) The last day was pretty brutal, the air was hot, the pavement - broiling. I made the mistake of siting down on it in the evening so my back could rest, and after a couple of minutes decided that the back pain was preferable. Despite the discomfort, it was exciting and rewarding to hear all the compliments and shout-outs from the people passing by. My supervisor Todd came by and watched the paint while I treated myself to some cold water, snacks, and a bathroom break. People took pictures, kids watched me paint, busy adults took time to appreciate their surroundings - makes it all worth while. 

Lidia Churakova