Usually we don’t notice walls; we notice the rooms that they divide, the rain that they keep out, the picture frames that hang upon them. But walls usually remain invisible, disappearing into the background, easily forgotten. Oct. 10 through Oct. 13, the public art and mural festival “Talking Walls” made a statement about the invisible. Producing over 20 murals throughout Charlotte, the festival exclaimed that the people of Charlotte need to come together to notice the unnoticed and start having conversations about how to make our city more equal and more beautiful.
The festival featured the work of 18 local, national and international artists displayed in 19 different locations throughout the city, including two murals in the UNC-Charlotte Center City building. A diverse array of artists, they ranged from the self-taught to those holding Masters degrees in the Fine Arts. Each artist, regardless of background or credentials, was given a location and a wall. “Talking Walls” treated all artists equally, something not often done in the realm of art, where graffiti and street art often is considered mediocre and even illegal. The first lesson “Talking Walls” teaches Charlotte is to level the playing field — we should value all people equally, regardless of appearance or background.