RALEIGH, N.C. — There was a celebration Wednesday for the city’s newest and tallest mural “Green City, USA.”
What You Need To Know
“Green City, USA” is downtown Raleigh’s newest and tallest mural
The mural is on the AT&T building at the corner of Hargett and McDowell streets
It celebrates the organic and technological greenery that will power Raleigh for many generations to come
The 8-story high mural is on the outside of the AT&T building at the corner of Hargett and McDowell streets. The artist is Scott Nurkin of The Mural Shop with The Raleigh Murals Project. The project is sponsored by Downtown Raleigh Alliance with support from AT&T and the Office of Raleigh Arts.
Jedidiah Gant, the founder and director of The Raleigh Murals Project, says they submitted around 30 designs before landing on the final one. The mural is made up of triangles and other geometric shapes to create a massive tree with some blue sky poking out.
“People just drove past this building and wouldn’t notice it. A lot of people I know would say 'that’s the ugliest building in Raleigh' or 'worst building in Raleigh,'” Gant said. “I would say, ‘No. It’s the best building in Raleigh for a mural.’ To see that come alive is really inspiring and cool.”
Gant says they wanted to re-think the idea of the “City of Oaks,” while also possibly inspiring people who see the mural. "Many kids are told you have to be scientist or doctor or whatever it may be, but I think it inspires young kids they can be an artist too and make a living and make a city really beautiful and colorful,” Gant said.
Gant says the mural represents the ideals and aspirations of the city, which in this case involve the growing tech industry and being environmentally friendly. The artists also wanted the mural to have an interactive element so if someone is at the ground level they can pretend to blow the leaves that make up the tree.
“It’s really inspiring that our city invests in art and is able to push these ideas forward. Now we want to put six or seven more all the way down the building, but it may take us 15 years or so,” Gant said.