From accessible art to ’Grammable backdrops for a ’fit check, Raleigh is brimming with postworthy murals to explore.
Raleigh is a city for creatives. And not just those who know how to use a paintbrush, but folks who appreciate art in its myriad forms. The City of Oaks is splashed with murals of all shapes, sizes and colors by local artists who see blank spaces as canvases for expressive opportunities. Read: Transforming Raleigh into a more diverse (and colorful!) place to live. Here, we delve into recent murals (plus a longtime fave) sure to draw a crowd.
And that’s a rap! Artist Dare Coulter depicts Busta Rhymes and his son in a celebration of the beauty of Black fatherhood around the corner of the cafe. The acclaimed artist emphasizes the importance of Black families and a father’s role in their children’s life journey with the quote, “The world is yours, young king. In the end, I hope you only turn out better than me.” (*Pause for the ”aws.’”*) … Go on, ~Busta~ move and check it out!
Raleigh’s Smallest Park
Small park, big energy (!). ICYMI, Dix Park—aka Raleigh’s largest urban park—debuted Raleigh’s smallest park in June, with a mural by local artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz painted in September 2022 serving as the park’s main focal point. For an opportune photo op, take a seat on one of the mushroom seats by installation artist, photographer and Art Director Katie Stewart amid the kitschy-colored plants + patterns. It’s giving Alice in Wonderland vibes—in the best way.
Inspo to do a little bit of good found. Painted in partnership with 100+ volunteers, this Downtown mural reads “Do Good”—and practices what it preaches. The colorful East Martin Street canvas was brought to life by visual storyteller Okirah Harris with support from Activate Good, Raleigh Murals Project and PNC.
The Mount Rushmore of 2010s Rap
Mount Rushmore? We raise you a Drake, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole mural (aka the Mount Rushmore of 2010s Rap) depicted on South Dawson Street’s mural—with the faces brought to you by Spotify listeners’ and Twitter votes. It’s time to sport that “World Series attitude, Champagne bottle life!”
Raleigh Iron Works
Raleigh Iron Works’ public arts program—in collaboration with The Collision Project—is off to a great st(art). Two initial works from Triangle-based artists feature murals amplifying the industrial history of the property—from interdisciplinary artist Gabriel Eng-Goetz’s commemoration of the property with a seven-story mural of a female iron welder to Morgan Cook’s mural merging shape, color and movement by showcasing the association of graffiti with railway systems. Next to join the lineup this fall is a piece by Raleigh native Taylor White set to highlight the male and female workers of the Peden Steel Company. That is so metal!