Business owner Sheri Casper says her customers should no longer have a problem finding her shop in Elizabeth City’s downtown.
That’s because her building, which is known locally as the “Lighthouse” building, now has a large lighthouse painted on its exterior wall.
“Now, I can say it’s the lighthouse building,” said Casper, owner of Albemarle Floral.
Residents have likely seen the new lighthouse mural painted on the wall at 505 E. Church Street. The artist who did the painting said although it was her first mural project, she hopes to do more painting downtown.
“That’s why we opened our business, to bring more color to the city,” said Jessa Trotman, owner of Dear Alchemy Collaboratory, at 100 E. Main Street. Her shop specializes in graphic design and screen printing.
The mural adorns the south-facing wall of the building, which likely got its nickname because upstairs is home to the Lighthouse Apartments. Downstairs is occupied by Albemarle Floral and Noble Brothers. The painting stands nearly 30 feet high and features a lighthouse with white and black stripes that towers over tall blue waves and is surrounded by giant red flowers.
Trotman began painting it about a month ago after speaking with Casper.
“She gave me a theme and told me to put my spin on it,” Trotman said, referring to her conversation with Casper.
Trotman is originally from Elizabeth City and recently moved back from Toledo, Ohio, where she’d been living with her family. She was inspired to paint murals because of the downtown art she’d seen in Toledo.
“They have art everywhere,” she said.
Using illustration software, Trotman created a scaled version of her mural and used it as a guide. She had to rent a portable cherry picker to lift her high enough to outline and paint the top portions of the mural. Trotman used basic latex paints and covered the mural in a clear coating to protect the paint and to make it easier to clean.
Casper said the building’s large parking lot needed the color that the mural provides.
“I was just going to paint a sunflower out there” until she spoke with Trotman, she said.
Trotman said additional plans call for more flowers to be painted on the front side of Albemarle Floral’s exterior wall.