Mount Pleasant leaders working to showcase Lowcountry artists

VIDEO: Mount Pleasant leaders working working to showcase Lowcountry artists

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - The town of Mount Pleasant wants to share its culture through artwork around the town.

The town’s Culture, Arts, and Pride Commission is working to promote local artists while showcasing their work across some of the town’s busiest places.

The town’s Special Events Manager, Nicole Harvey, says a few years ago they realized there wasn’t much public art around Mount Pleasant. They wanted to promote Lowcountry artists while also teaching people about the history.

“To be able to shine a spotlight on what local artists do,” Harvey said. “And the artistic culture that we have here and show people what we have to offer.”

For example, they started having artists decorate the traffic boxes across Highway 17, Coleman Boulevard, and Chuck Dawley Boulevard. They now want to expand these visuals to murals on private buildings in busy parts of town.

Harvey says the town is working on adding a canvas to the side of Fire Station #7 on Bowman Road. It will show a sweetgrass basket maker, but the basket is in the shape of a fire shield.

They hope this helps tell a story of the history of Mount Pleasant, which has a long history with sweetgrass baskets.

Businesses can donate their wall space, but the town has also reached out to certain high traffic areas, like shopping centers, where they think artwork will enhance the appearance of the buildings.

Harvey says the town is paying these artists through an accommodations and tourism tax.

Mount Pleasant also wants to bring more interactive murals where people will travel to take pictures and be able to draw on them. Town leaders will partner with the new Lucy Garrett Beckham High School, which opened this school year.

Mount Pleasant Special Events Manager Nicole Harvey says art teachers were inspired by "Before I die" murals like this one in New Orleans.
Mount Pleasant Special Events Manager Nicole Harvey says art teachers were inspired by "Before I die" murals like this one in New Orleans. (Source: Nicole Harvey)

Art students at the new high school will create a few different art projects for the town this year.

Art teachers at Lucy Beckham are planning for students to work on a “Right NOW I can...” wall. This is similar to the viral “Before I die” bucket list walls that have been popular tourist destinations in big cities.

For the “Right NOW I can...” prompt, they want people to come write what they are doing right now to achieve hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations. The students in the art classes will help with painting and designing the wall, as well as adding in their own thoughts.

It has not been determined where this will be in town yet, but Harvey says the town hopes to see it come to a populated and busy area. She says they have also discussed making it portable.

The school is also working to create a wall of community portraits in black and white. It will be displayed on a public building in town as well. They want students to start by taking pictures of their family and friends. Harvey says this is a great way to highlight multi-generational families showing the beauty in the young and old.

The town of Mount Pleasant will help fund these projects with their accommodations and tourism tax money as well.

The town says it has reached out to Wando High School about working on projects together as well.

Click here to get information on how to get involved with CAP projects.

The Culture, Arts and Pride Commission is meeting Wednesday at noon at the Municipal Complex, Committee Meeting Room.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.