A studio of 14 UNC Charlotte art students, led by professors Maja Godlewska and Erik Waterkotte, have created a series of 10 public art murals for the new Arlo apartment building on West Morehead Street. Commissioned by ArchCo Residential, the students participated in a semester-long project to research, design, and create the murals.
The themes and imagery in the murals reflect the history and geography of the Wesley Heights neighborhood. In preparation for their design, the students walked through the streets around the new apartment building, sketching and photographing sights, listening to sounds, and getting a feel for the physical environment. They then studied old maps, images, postcards, and other historical documents of the neighborhood that are held in the collections of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Carolina Room and the University’s Atkins Library.
Working in teams, they translated their research into collaborative, poetic responses to the Wesley Heights area of Charlotte, past and present. The students’ designs for the murals were executed using digital printing techniques and painting by hand on PVC foam board material that is cut and layered to create a dimensional, “bas-relief” effect. The murals were installed in August 2018.