The City of Lincolnton issued the following news release about the mural on N. Poplar St. Thursday (July 16th):
This past weekend, hundreds of community members including teens, young adults, and families with children came together as volunteers to create a street mural on North Poplar Street in the City of Lincolnton. The weekend painting event attracted people of all colors and walks of life in a collaborative, peaceful project to support the minority communities that live in Lincolnton. Titled “United We Stand,” the colorful artwork is a statement of solidarity.
“This project has really sparked our minority and young adult citizens, and they participated in large numbers by painting, donating supplies, stopping to talk with participants and supporting the message of ‘United We Stand,” said Mayor Ed Hatley. He continued, “Although it is sad that the mural was defaced before it was formally completed, the damage is being repaired, and a new 30-foot flagpole and American Flag will be installed on Monday, July 20th to complete the overall project.”
Many communities around the country are creating street mural projects like Charlotte’s “Black Lives Matter” and Dallas, NC’s “End Racism Now” installations. Based on these recent area projects, the artist and project leader, Demarius Pearson, appeared before City Council and requested permission for the community project on June 25th. During Pearson’s public comments, he presented preliminary concept artwork for council review, and council approved further development of the project while reserving final review and approval of the final art.
According to Mayor Hatley, “There was some confusion that created objections from people that did not know the purpose or message of the artwork, misunderstood the design concept, or just didn’t like the project, which is OK. We added a US Flag at the park because it made sense as we reviewed the art. We are pleased that our Lincolnton Police Department identified the culprit so quickly. We expect the street mural to be driven on, and it was designed with that in mind, but intentional damage is not acceptable. The final art is a colorful mosaic and we are proud of Demarius Pearson and everyone that participated in the project.”
Pearson designed the artwork for “United We Stand” to recognize and celebrate the Black, Latino, LGBTQ, and all residents of Lincolnton by using colors to represent skin tones, Latino heritage and the LGBTQ rainbow. Each letter of the message is painted in colors that represent each minority group and the letters WE include all 3 paint styles and colors. The artwork was developed into a final version and approved by council members shortly before the street painting began on July 11th.
The mural is located on a city-owned street, adjacent to the downtown park and popular Marcia Cloninger Rail Trail that runs through Lincolnton.
All labor, supplies and paint were funded by direct public donations to the project. N. Poplar Street will remain closed until the flagpole and flag are installed next week.
The Council review process was not unusual, Council has directly approved requests from the community during public comments in a similar manner, including Hesed House of Hope financial support.
There have been several community solidarity activities in Lincolnton including Calls to Prayer and Prayer Walks at the Court Square. The next Call to Prayer is scheduled for Wednesday, July 22 at 6:30 PM and another Prayer Walk is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28 at 6:30 PM. Both assemblies will be on the south Courtsquare lawn in downtown Lincolnton.
Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2020
Article comment by:
The very nature of the LGBQ "movement" is exclusive. People who happen to identify with the LETTER S resent being excluded when they have done nothing wrong except be themselves. Straight people did not make you gay. Straight people did not make your lifestyle choice. Why are you constantly screaming about your "rights"? What about the rights of others? I liked Mr. Pearson's idea to incorporate the skid marks. Straight people, local people, people who have lived here for generations, Southern people, should have been included in the first place. UNITED means U-N-I-T-E-D. Excluding anyone is starting a war. It is rude, impolite and non productive. Please consider the "rights" and feelings and efforts of people and families who have built this down, survived wars living in this town, survived the depression living in this town. The best event I ever attended was a Pow Wow in uptown Charlotte. It began with a prayer THANKING the host, the City of Charlotte. I think the LGBQ "movement" would do well to consider this. If you want to be accepted, loved and appreciated for who you are, why not start out doing the same for others as you would like done for you. Going the other way is simply counter productive and only makes people angrier, and more mad, and more resentful. If you haven't gone out and repainted the whole thing, please consider the original artist's idea. If you already have, please find some way to represent those who have been here long before you even knew this town existed. Why don't you try to consider others as you want them to consider you? I think the original artists would want it that way. And I know I do.