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Mural blends Foxx, Obama with local, famous faces

By Rachel Dean
Staff Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. In the Legacy Village in uptown Charlotte, visitors’ eyes are drawn to a colorful, vast mural with famous faces on one side and a collage of writing on the other.

The 8-foot tall, 16-foot-wide mural, painted by Stephanie Burke, sits inside the Civic & Cultural Arts Center tent with a quote by Albert Einstein across the top and Charlotte’s night skyline across the bottom.

The four familiar faces are Bono, Mayor Anthony Foxx, Albert Einstein and Barack Obama.

The quote along the top says, “Imagination is more important than knowledge …”

Burke said the artists were given a choice of four themes, and she chose creativity.

“I support creativity any way I can, so imagination and creativity, to me, go hand in hand. And, I loved this quote by Einstein, and I thought that it’s true and that it would be a great way to build a mural around,” Burke said.

The other two faces, soon to be three, are portraits of visitors to the Legacy Village on Monday. Burke took over 300 pictures of people visiting the area on Monday during CarolinaFest and chose three of those to paint to add to the mural.

Burke will upload the portraits to her website at the end of the week so that people can find out if their picture was chosen. She said that the photos were chosen to represent people of different ages and races, but she also chose photos based on the quality. One woman was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention; another was a quiet young girl.

Burke said her camera happened to catch the little girl when the wind blew her hair just the right way. The last one has yet to be painted, but she has already chosen a young, African-American girl for the mural.

On the other side of the mural, Burke painted the question, “What do you imagine for Charlotte?” Below the question, anyone who wanted to pick up a brush could write what she or he wants to see in Charlotte. Ideas vary from peace and love to using solar energy and creating a park at Park Road and Gleneagles, which is now an empty field. Burke did not add her thoughts to the mural, but said she would have written “more public art.”

Burke said she didn’t know where the mural will go after this week, but she hopes that the piece will be kept together. The top three venues that Burke would like the mural to go are ImaginOn, Duke Energy and the Carillon building.

“I had a concept for the mural, and it was fulfilled,” Burke said. “I am pleased with the result, especially since I put it together in four days.”

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