While you are exploring downtown Asheville, walk down Lexington Avenue to the I-240 underpass to see the vibrant colors and beautiful images of a new mural, to be completed in 2009. The Asheville Mural Project is a group of artists brought together through the nonprofit Arts 2 People, with the cooperative objective of both revitalizing existing urban environments and memorializing the diversity of experience and culture that Asheville hosts. AMP has created several small murals in the past and is currently forging the frontier of large-scale mural projects with the Lexington Gateway Mural.
Both sets of I-240 concrete piers framing the lower end of North Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville are being painted with designs that artists have been working on for more than a year. The pillars will eventually be covered with standing portraits of local people, chosen by nomination. AMP hopes that this current mural will lay the foundation for more large-scale murals and a continuing public dialogue regarding collective vision and intent.
To create the mural, Asheville Mural Project was granted provisional permission by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and worked with Asheville City Council, the Downtown Commission, the Public Art Board, Office of Economic Development, and Parking and Transit to solidify the project. Six artists have collaborated on the design. AMP is raising funds to complete the painting of the Lexington Gateway Mural, in hopes of finishing in the spring of 2009. Money raised will go to support our artists, and buy the remaining necessary materials.
The Asheville Mural Project exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to design and implement their own public art. They believe that murals enhance quality of life and create artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. Their murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.
The Asheville Mural Project has completed several murals in town over the past few years, including the Street Science Mural in West Asheville, the Unity Mural at the Asheville Middle School, and several collaborative murals at the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival. Extra funds will be put towards several of the newest potential mural sites, including the Asheville Public Library, the Asheville Transit Center (bus station downtown), and the Montford Corner Store.
AMP hopes to bring more collaboration into the public-art process. The collective is excited about creating art that will become part of people’s daily routines, interrupting the ordinary.