Voting is underway on Elizabeth City’s website to pick an artist that will paint a Black Lives Matter mural on the street in front of City Hall.
Four different artists submitted a rendition of their proposed mural that will be painted on approximately 700 feet of street on Colonial Avenue. Two of the finalists are identified as Ahmya Rivera and Michael Little. The other two are identified only as Grooten and US Kustomz.
People can go to the city’s website, cityofec.com, and click on “BLM Mural” to cast a vote. Voting ends at midnight on June 16 and the winner will be announced at noon on June 17.
The city had no update on how many people had voted in the contest as of Friday.
The three artists who are not chosen will have an opportunity to help the winning artist paint the mural.
City Manager Montre Freeman said he hopes work on the Black Lives Matter Street Art Project will begin on Saturday, June 19 as part of the city’s Juneteenth celebration and that the mural will be completed by the Fourth of July weekend.
The project was conceived at a City Council meeting following the deadly shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. by three Pasquotank sheriff’s deputies on April 21.
The winning artist will not be compensated for their work but the city is providing the paint, brushes and other supplies to paint the BLM mural.
To accommodate the project, East Colonial Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic from South Road Street by the Pasquotank County Public Library to North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from noon on June 17 until 5 p.m. on July 3.
The drive-thru window at city’s Customer Service office on Colonial Avenue will be closed until the mural is completed but the location will remain open for walk-in payments. Walk-up payments also will be accepted at the kiosk.
To accommodate city utility customers, the city’s customer service satellite office at 407-B South Griffin Street will reopen and be staffed beginning June 14 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
City Council also discussed honoring Brown with a mural and temporary exhibit at a vacant city-owned building near the waterfront but Freeman said that is no longer being considered.
Freeman said the city has a new plan for the former Verizon store at 514 East Ehringhaus Street but said he was not ready to discuss those plans on Thursday.
“It won’t be an Andrew Brown exhibit but it will be something else we are working through right now,” Freeman said. “It will be something the community will appreciate.”