Overcome the winter rut with a stroll along the Lovers Art Trail collection of love-themed murals scattered throughout some of Charlotte’s coolest neighborhoods compiled by Art Walks CLT.
To make some special memories while socially distancing, the trail is the perfect outing with your spouse, bae, bestie, crush, your mom and dad or with the person you know and love best — yourself.
The trail features 10 artworks in South End, Third Ward, NoDa and Plaza Midwood. At each stop, you can scan the QR code on the plaque with your phone to hear the story behind the artist and the mural.
The concept for this latter-day lovers’ lane came from Anne Low, who founded Art Walks CLT in 2018 to connect communities with local public art and artists.
In her teaching days, Low took her students on walking tours to see local art. “There is such power in art,” Low said. “There’s nothing like seeing it in person.”
For this event, Low wanted to encourage people to consider how art impacts our lives in different ways.
“Love has many uses and meanings,” Low said. “The art in this collection invites viewers to dig deeper and recognize that love exists in a variety of ways within our communities, our relationships and ourselves.”
The Stories Behind the Brush Strokes
Two of the artists featured in the Lovers Art Trail are Matthew Clayburn and Kyle Mosher. Both leave impressions on our community in numerous ways, including in the Black Lives Matter mural on North Tryon Street (Clayburn painted the “A” in “Matter,” and Mosher painted the “I” in “Lives”).
Clayburn’s heart mural on the exterior wall of the Community Matters Café is inspired by the double meaning of his logo. “I put my whole heart into my work,” he said. “And the heart is a portal that can turn anything into love.”
His piece reflects the transformation that happens at Charlotte Rescue Mission (a partnership Clayburn found through Charlotte is Creative.)
Mosher’s mural, Amour, is a stylized intermingling of his creative influences – from cut paper and Cubism to typography and fashion. The piece is centered around the gaze shared between two beings, which is intentionally ambiguous to leave room for interpretation.
“Love is a universal theme expressed through different cultures and languages,” said Mosher.
Leaving Your Own Heart on the Trail
To enhance the event, Art Walks CLT is partnering with CRAFT CLT (Charlotte Region Arts, Fibers & Textures). Ashley Jane McIntyre, CRAFT’s founder and chief creative officer, created the organization to help connect the local crafting community and provide pathways for people to explore different mediums.
CRAFT is leading a community-sourced project comprised of handmade flowers created by members of the crafting community. During the Lovers Art Walk, CRAFT will set up outside the Community Matters Café to stitch the flowers together into a garland that will hang at the café through February.
Passersby are invited to cut their own hearts from felt squares that will be incorporated into the garland. You can even write a message or “carve” your initials onto your felt heart.
This project is a beautiful fit with the theme because, as with love, creating art is the process of sharing and celebrating the differences. This project is a beautiful fit with the “love” theme because the art community is sharing and celebrating the differences that make art possible, McIntyre said.
“It’s the idea of the diversity of media coming together and elevating different forms of art,” McIntyre said.
Bonus: Learn how you can get involved in the CRAFT CLT community. (The weekly “Stitch-N-Bitch,” which is open to all skill levels, is calling my name.)
Get Out There
Experience all the soul-stirring murals on the Lovers Art Trail while you can. Unlike love, which can be endless and eternal, this event lasts only through the end of February. Luckily, the art featured on the trail will be with us for some time to come.
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*Featured Photo by Brooke Brown Photography (@brookebrownphotography_clt).
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