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Colin Quashie was here on Saturday to install the North Carolina African-American history painting.  It is on the long wall opposite the dining room.  I think it looks wonderful and I encourage you to check it out.

We installed special lighting to show the painting, and Colin was especially pleased with it.  As he said, the painting “really pops out.”  Colin originally had planned to install it on separate, specially-designed wooden panels, but a friend recently convinced him that simpler was better.   He decided to staple it directly to the wall just as it was when he painted it.  It will make it much easier to remove the painting if we need to move it for any reason, including letting someone else display it temporarily.

I still remember our early conversations about the need to do a significant painting that would accurately reflect the contributions of African-Americans to North Carolina’s history.  It was not included in the Kughler murals, at least not in a way that was positive or representative.  Other paintings are planned (though not yet funded), but this wonderful piece by Colin goes a long way to accomplishing our goal.

Many thanks to everyone who had a hand in making this a reality.  Thanks to Random Gott and Faith Thompson for helping on Saturday.  I can’t wait for the dedication later this month.

10 thoughts on “The History Painting Is Here

  1. Love it. Look forward to seeing it in the morning…and every morning I walk by to my office.

  2. The mural is wonderful! I love the small details – like the newspaper with the story about the Wilmington coup d’etat.

    Would it be possible to provide copies of the two documents explaining who the people are so you can walk with it and read about each person while you stand in front of them instead of having to move back and forth from one end to the other? I think that would really help the learning experience.

    1. The plan is to have lots of menus in those holders at either end of the painting. People will be able to walk along the painting and refer to their “menu.” The reference menu is in the process of being finalized. I don’t know if they will be laminated or if people will be able to take them away.

  3. I just returned from viewing the mural and it is spectacular. The pictures that I had seen of it do not do the painting justice. I’m sure there is an art term that describes its effect specifically, but it appears multi-dimensional.
    It really seems to jump off the wall. If you go by and see it personally, you will see what I mean.

  4. I am glad that we went with the “wall wash” lighting to prevent shadowing. It was the better choice for that hallway. It brings attention to the wall and should draw everyone’s attention.

    1. Took a look myself, and agree with Tom that it looks even better live than in the pics. Gotta disagree to some extent on the lighting. I find the light garishly bright. It could be easily fixed with warmer toned florescent bulbs in the fixtures–keeping it shadow free, but making it more comfortable to view.

      A couple other points while I’m at it that would help the mural look its best and match the finished (classy) look of existing works in the building:
      -The wood trim should be lightly stained–it looks and feels raw and unfinished
      -The menu holders also appear raw and unfinished and should get a light stain
      -The proposed handouts should really include a numbered outline of the entire mural with the associated descriptions. (example here–
      Being able to carry around the existing handouts would still be difficult to follow in my humble opinion.

  5. This is going to teach me something new every time I look at it.

    I’m very proud that we have it here at the SOG and am going to send links to people I know who share interests in specific people and events represented in the mural.

  6. This is such a treasure. I felt a great deal of SOG-pride this evening as I showed this off to a colleague visiting from VCU. It is spectacular and inspiring. Thanks to all who had a hand in bringing this vision to reality.

  7. Much like the Local Government Wing campaign, I feel good every time I visit this piece. It says much about us collectively that it is housed here and more about us individually that the “missing history” bothered us enough to make an attempt at correcting the error.

    I have had the opportunity to learn so much, meet some truly spectacular people, and share my pride in being a part of the School of Government.

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