Ad Spot

August 8, 2020

Editorial: Mural that reflects Salisbury’s diversity worth seeing through to completion

Murals that aim to promote a city’s diversity do not tend to stoke fierce opposition, but that’s exactly what’s happening as Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins works to drum up support for the idea.

Heggins on Tuesday presented a proposal devoid of any political affiliations, but it was tainted in the mind of her critics and some council members by a previous proposal to paint “Black Lives Matter” on a street.┬áThe simple act of saying “Black Lives Matter” or, in this case, painting it somewhere draws a negative connotations in communities like Rowan County. In addition to public comments on Tuesday, a perceived ulterior motive was clear in statements from council members who said they were glad the revised idea did not include any political connections.

Using examples from other cities, Heggins said the revised mural aims to bring people together through a shared vision, enliven city spaces and, among other things, shout “everyone belongs.” It’s a way to come together after what’s been a relatively divisive time in Salisbury, she says.

Regardless of whether people are skeptical about the mural idea, Salisbury should collectively seize the opportunity to create something new about which all the city’s residents can be proud. The city has a rich history of embracing the arts through public displays such as the Salisbury Sculpture Show. The Salisbury Symphony took on a project a few years ago to place pianos that had been decorated by middle school students in downtown locations. Notably, a large mural featuring Salisburians who made their mark on the city fills a large wall in a parking lot on West Fisher Street.

The mural project Heggins has proposed should involve extensive public comment and contributions from public, including members of the Public Art Committee and those who don’t serve on a board. That will require months of work and involve some debate about what a diversity mural should look like in Salisbury. Should it feature people and places? If so, which people and places? Who will paint the mural? Where will it go? Who pays for the supplies and artists’ work?

If the city is interested in seeing the project to its completion, Tuesday’s council discussion will only be the beginning of what’s likely to be a process of months. If the council wants to start the process, it will have to determine the best start point for future debate. If the council prefers the see the idea form organically, there could be some period of waiting before further progress occurs.

Whatever the method, a mural that truly reflects the diversity that makes Salisbury special is worth seeing through to completion. While there will be debate about the contents, the final product should be something that unites us.

Comments

Concord

Salisbury VA Community Living Center outbreak now considered over

Local

New Salisbury fire station taking shape on Cedar Springs Road

Coronavirus

Last-ditch virus aid talks collapse; no help for jobless now

Elections

Flood of election-related mail raises concerns from local voters

Elections

Top state lawmakers want a presidential debate in N.C.

Business

US hiring slows amid signs of longer-lasting economic damage

Local

North Carolina to relax 10-person limit for GOP convention

Education

Most NC parents won’t have option to send kid back to school

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man charged with kidnapping

Crime

Police undercover purchases produce charges for Salsburian

Crime

Salisbury man faces sex offense charges in Randolph County

East Spencer

Earlier deadline accompanies concerns about local completion rate for Census

Coronavirus

New COVID-19 outbreak grows at Salisbury nursing home

Crime

Blotter: Guns stolen from vehicle

China Grove

Town of China Grove names new finance director

Landis

South Rowan grad to serve as new Landis HR officer, town clerk

Education

50 local businesses to display COVID-19 posters designed by students

Crime

Salisbury pair caught breaking into vacant home

Local

Gov. Cooper: Trump’s coronavirus strategy ‘nonexistent’

Crime

Sheriff’s deputies charge Salisbury woman after finding drugs, cash in stolen car

Education

Rivas taking over as principal at Hanford-Dole

Education

Back to School: Calendars

Education

Back to School: Getting to know local schools

Education

Back to School: A message from RSS Superintendent Lynn Moody