CARRBORO, N.C. — A Triangle artist is on a mission to honor North Carolina musicians.
Scott Nurkin has started the Musician Murals Project, leaving large-scale murals all across the state.
The Charlotte native and UNC-Chapel Hill alum had the idea of creating murals of musicians in his mind for a long time, particularly once he became a career artist.
His first musician mural debuted in June of 2020.
“It was good for me because I work alone and really high up in the air. I was one of the very few people I think that got lucky during COVID," Nurkin said. "So I started going out to all the different towns."
He has a laundry list of completed murals, including Thelonious Monk in Rocky Mount, John Coltrane in Hamlet, Nina Simone in Tryon, Roberta Flack in Black Mountain, Earl Scruggs and Don Gibson in Shelby, Betty Davis in Durham and Randy Travis in Marshville.
“When I found out how many wonderful, brilliant, pioneering musicians were from North Carolina it was like, why did I not learn about this in North Carolina history? Why did it take me well into my adulthood to figure out John Coltrane or Nina Simone were from these small towns," Nurkin said. "So I felt like it was really important to teach that to people that otherwise didn’t know it.”
And he’s not done yet. His goal is to do 10 murals a year.
“I’ve worked hard for it, but I have the greatest job in the world.”
His next projects are already lined up, which are Link Wray in Dunn, Maceo Parker in Kinston and 9th Wonder in Winston-Salem.