Elizabeth City asking artists to pitch ideas for ‘Black Lives Matter’ street art project

North Carolina

ELIZABETH CITY, Va. (WAVY) — Elizabeth City is asking artists to submit their renderings for a “Black Lives Matter” street art project.

City Council voted 5-1 on May 24 to move forward with the street art project idea, which was brought by Councilman Darius Horton.

The project’s kick-off will be announced by City Manager Montre Freeman Wednesday at City Hall.

At the time, Horton said he hoped the project, which would paint the words “Black Lives Matter” on the length of Colonial Avenue outside City Hall in downtown Elizabeth City, would send a message to the community that “yes all lives matter, but right now black lives matter.”

The street art is similar in concept to other murals that have been painted in cities across the country.

The vote came just a few weeks after Andrew Brown Jr. was shot and killed by Pasquotank County deputies as they attempted to serve a search warrant at a Perry Street home.

“We are excited to invite local artists to submit artwork to support the importance of diversity in our great nation,” said Freeman in a prepared statement in a news release Tuesday.

“Our City serves as a safe harbor of hospitality as well as healing. This project will support our combined efforts and commitment to accomplish both,” Mayor Bettie J. Parker added.

Artists must upload their rendition of the Black Lives Matter street art project by noon on June 8. Work can be submitted on the city website. That link will be released soon.

Elizabeth City residents will then be able to review each artist’s submission and vote for their favorite rendering. The voting period will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 8.

All artwork will be submitted pro bono, meaning artists won’t be paid for their submissions. Artists will still have ownership of their art, however by participating, they are providing the city with their consent to use the artwork on T-shirts, cups, and other items as part of this project.

The artist who received the most votes will have their artwork illustrated on Colonial Avenue.

The selected artist will be able to help create the final project.

The winning rendering will be announced by the mayor at noon on June 9.

Painting by volunteers — including the top six artists and the winning artist — will begin on Saturday, June 12 after a memorial waterfront walk and prayer breakfast. Both events are open to the public.

Stay tuned for information on how to submit a rendering for consideration.

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