Duke art annex mural to be unveiled at public event on Friday

Mar. 26, 2013 @ 06:27 PM

On one side of a building painted gold and two different shades of blue, contemporary artist Matthew Curran stood on a ladder on Tuesday, spray painting strokes of white paint between the edges of a large stencil.

This past weekend, Duke University students helped paint the base coat on the building. And this week, alongside Curran, students and others were expected to help finish the graffiti-style stencil mural. The finished product should be unveiled at a public event Friday at the facility at 404 Gattis St.

A former linen facility, the 10,000-square-foot building opened as the Art Annex last year. The building has an arts studio and dance rehearsal space, said Sharon Chan, chair of the Duke University Visual Arts Committee. She said students wanted the building, which is around a bend on Gattis Street, to look the part of an arts-dedicated building.

“Students come in from here, it was the most logical place to start,” she said of the side of the building that features the mural.

The project is the culmination of work done through a series of graffiti and stencil workshops led by Curran. The project was an effort of the Duke University Union Visual Arts Committee, a committee of the student-led Duke University Union that plans activities for students, with the Office of the Vice Provost of the Arts’ Duke Arts Program.

Chan said that Curran did the overall design for the mural, which he said consists of his graffiti-style jagged line work. Stencils created by students in the workshops are expected to be incorporated into the project as well.

Chan said the project was meant to raise awareness about university arts opportunities, and was also a chance for students to interact with the greater community. The building is near a residential neighborhood, she said, and students drive through the area to get to the annex.

“We wanted to raise awareness about arts on campus for students, but we also wanted to create an opportunity where students can integrate with the local community,” she said.

A festival will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday at the annex to celebrate the mural’s completion. The event is slated to include jazz music, food trucks, Dtown Market vendors, and arts and crafts led by Happymess Art Studios.