5 ‘selfie’ murals to visit in GSO

The+mural+on+the+storefront+of+Elsewhere+museum.+Photo+Courtesy+of+Arts+for+Life+NC+on+Instagram.

The mural on the storefront of Elsewhere museum. Photo Courtesy of Arts for Life NC on Instagram.

Re'Dreyona Walker, theCulture Editor

Over the past few years, Greensboro has been building up to become known as one of the best places to tour cultural street art. Throughout the city, there is a variety of eye-catching graffiti art and murals that decorate the streets and buildings. 

Local artists have been consistently collaborating with one another on beautifying Greensboro with their stunning artwork. Artists like Darlene J. McClinton, Brandi Schmidt, Gina Elizabeth Franco, Raman Bhardwaj, Jenna Rice and Emmanuel Mollette have done some amazing artwork for the community; especially the Black Lives Matter murals from protests this summer.

These artists have also collaborated with Greensboro developers to make the city become recognized as a street art destination. Marty Kotis, a Greensboro developer and entrepreneur, has created many public art projects in a collaboration with local graffiti artists like Jeks One, as well as popular traveling artists like Nathan “SLOKE” Nordstrom from Austin, Texas.

Kotis is the owner of Kotis Street Art, a local-based collection of street art with over 200 curated installations from several critically acclaimed muralists and artists. With Kotis Street Art, he plans to boosts the city’s reputation as a rising community for street artists.

“My goal with Kotis Street Art…is to make Greensboro a top 10 destination in the world for street artists; from the artists’ point of view…,” Kotis said in a statement to Spectrum Local News. 

While there will be many murals to come to the city, there are plenty of murals that have already become popular among the arts and culture community here. These street art paintings have become known as ‘selfie murals’ for locals and visitors, where they will pose in front of the mural using it as a backdrop for their selfie photos.

Listed below are some of the best ‘selfie murals’ to visit in Greensboro:

 

Photo Courtesy of Woody Marshall/Greensboro News and Record.

1. The Downtown ‘Greensboro’ mural 

The newest art installation by local artist Gina Elizabeth Franco has been named the Greensboro ‘selfie’ mural. The mural was painted in September 2020 and is located on a brick wall at the corner of S. Elm Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Many Instagram posts feature downtown visitors standing in front of the mural taking selfies. The 14-foot by 30-foot mural shows a colorful interpretation of Greensboro’s history, including vibrant images of the city’s civil rights history, in support of the current social climate with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The painting had been in works for about a year and was organized by Jennifer Graf, owner of Vintage to Vogue Boutique, in an effort to add more art and creativity to the southern side of downtown.

 

Photo Courtesy of Top Street Art on Instagram.

2. The Mac Miller mural

The Mac Miller mural was painted by artist Brian Lewis, otherwise known as Jeks One, after the news of Mac Miller’s tragic death in September 2018. Jeks One is known as one of the most popular graffiti artists in Greensboro’s rising street art scene. 

Jeks wanted the mural to be a tribute to the rapper after Miller passed away due to his long-time struggle with substance abuse. 

The mural has been popular among the local community and Mac Miller fans. Visitors have been seen admiring and paying their respects to Miller at the site, and some have even left shrines at the base of the painting. 

The mural can be located behind the Forge building, near the edge of downtown by Boxcar Bar + Arcade.

 

Photo Courtesy of Susan Veazey (@skveazey) on Instagram.

3. The Elsewhere ‘butterfly’ mural

The butterfly mural was a collaboration organized by McClinton, N.C. A&T professor and co-owner of The Artist Bloc, with local artists Jamin Guinyard, also known as Jay Squids, N.C. A&T professor Xavier Carrington, Neidy Perdomo, Karena “Kidd” Graves, Quadasia Prescod and Phillip Marsh, lead artist of Rocker’s Print Shop.

The painting shows a transition of a young black girl growing up to develop an awakening consciousness of racism, discrimination and police brutality. The mural starts off with a young black girl reaching for a white flower, which represents innocence, and ends with her as an adult, with her fists raised high in protest for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The artists decided to name the painting, “Inspire Change for a Collaborative Future,” as there is a also butterfly centered in the middle with a small painted stool below that says, “Stand here if BLM.” The expansive mural covers the exterior of the Elsewhere Museum storefront at 606 S. Elm St.

The mural is dedicated to Elsewhere’s mission for “building collaborative futures” with local black artists, and centers black voices in a bright, bold story about liberation and social justice. 

 

Photo Courtesy of @tsechelovek_graffiti on Instagram.

4. The Nipsey Hussle mural

Jeks One created a mural of L.A rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle on 807 W Gate City Blvd., located on the side of the Sensuous Scents boutique. 

The mural is painted in memory of Hussle, who was tragically murdered in March 2019 in front of his South Los Angeles store, Marathon Clothing. The mural shows the late rapper with a yellow halo-like figure surrounding him and a shadowed painting of him performing on stage.

Since being completed in April 2019, hundreds of local Hussle fans have gathered in front of the mural to admire as well as hold vigils and conversations about his impact. The East Greensboro painting has also attracted visitors from around the country.

 

Photo Courtesy of @tsechelovek_graffiti on Instagram.

5. The Dram & Draught mural

The Dram and Draught graffiti art mural was painted by traveling artist Nils Westergard from Richmond, Va. and neo-pop artist BustArt. The painting was completed in October 2018 and was sponsored by Rocker’s Print Shop. 

The first half of the vibrant mural was based on a visual by Selah Marie, a photograph of a black woman with a colorful crown of flowers and butterflies surrounding her. The second half of the mural is graphic pop art of Daffy Duck, Catwoman and Black Dynamite.

The colorful mural is perfect for selfie photos, and can be found behind the Dram and Draught bar on 300 W Gate City Blvd.