Murals, highlighting a town’s culture and showcasing its iconic symbols, have become a popular tourist attraction and photo op in many towns across our nation.
You’ve probably noticed them on social media, or maybe you’ve even stopped to take a selfie in front of a mural.
Matt Lively has been a professional artist since the age of 22, and he is the co-founder of “All in Together VA”, a collaborative relief series of murals for students and others stuck at home during quarantine.
In fact, he’s been painting murals for quite some time throughout Virginia, including Richmond and Norfolk.
Although he’s had experience in a variety of art mediums, he explains that “with murals, more people saw my work for the first time, so I got asked to do more and more.” He’s completed over 40.
One of his murals in Richmond even attracted the attention of one of his favorite directors, Steven Spielberg, who happened to drive by it and stopped his car to take pictures.
After receiving a Grassroots Arts Program Grant through the NC Arts Council, Meredith asked Matt if he would consider creating a mural for Edenton, a first of its kind and a first for Matt, who had never painted a mural in North Carolina.
Fortunately, Matt agreed, so together they collaborated on a design that would highlight some of Edenton’s most iconic structures – the 1886 Lighthouse, the Edenton Trolley, the Cupola House, and of course, Edenton’s Teapot.
The mural also includes Matt’s signature “Beecycles” which are featured throughout his paintings and other works and can be seen on his website.
Though the mural is a wonderful focal point and photo op for Edenton’s citizens and visitors, Meredith and Matt’s vision for it included community involvement.
Likewise, Matt has always fostered community involvement in the arts.
In addition to co-founding “All In Together VA”, he “did a painting every morning for six years, took a picture of it, and posted it on social media to encourage people to show their artwork.”
With Edenton’s mural, he and Meredith encouraged Edenton’s youth to get involved.
Kids from Fearless Kids Artand high school art students from John A. Holmes High School were able to participate in creating the mural and learning from Matt what it’s like to be a professional artist.
Matt Lively’s work is in collections throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and China, and now Edenton will be able to showcase one of his iconic murals.