Mural being painted to honor Mother Emanuel victim

VIDEO: Mural being painted to honor Mother Emanuel victim
Kuszyk painting mural Tuesday (Source: Live 5)
Kuszyk painting mural Tuesday (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A world renowned artist is creating a piece of artwork that will honor one of the victims in the Mother Emanuel tragedy.

Nick Kuszyk, known as R. Robots, will paint a colorful, wall-sized mural of books on the side of the John L. Dart Branch Library on King Street.

The giant mural will honor the life and work of Cynthia Hurd.

Hurd was a branch manager at the Dart Branch for 21 years before serving as branch managers of the St. Andrews Regional Library.

"She understood what being a librarian, and what a library as a place really meant," said current Dart Branch Manager, Kim Williams Odom. "It wasn't just a place that had books, but is a place where people discover new things, discover new adventures and had great escapes."

The mural is partially funded by a donation from Winston & Strawn LLP to the Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Fund, which was established at the Charleston County Public Library by the Graham-Hurd families.

Kuszyk started work on the mural Tuesday morning and hopes to have it completed by Friday.

He has used bright colors with different geometric shapes in his past murals which can be seen all around the world.

He said he's honored to be able to work on this project, a partnership between the Charleston County Public Library and a non-profit called Enough Pie.

Enough Pie is a dedicated to engaging and inspiring residents in Charleston's Upper Peninsula.

"It was horrifying [to hear about the shooting]," Kuszyk said. "I worked with Kim at the library, and she made the decisions about what she felt would be most appropriate for the neighborhood, but also for what Cynthia would have liked."

"We believe this mural will bring more folks to the branch and honor Cynthia by illuminating the magic of books and storytelling on a main wall of the building," said Enough Pie Executive Director Cathryn Zommer.

Kuszyk will out painting from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Friday, February 26 (weather dependent).

Residents in the area are encouraged to visit and watch him work, and kids can participate in a workshop with the artist from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 25 to create their own mural-inspired artwork to be attached to book carts in the building.

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