THOMASVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) —Several murals are popping up on buildings across the city of Thomasville. It’s the work of two local artists leading the Tville Mural Project, hoping to draw attention and more people to downtown and local businesses.
Business owners said they have seen a steady stream of people stopping by to get a closer look at the murals and then later coming inside to check out what their business has to offer.
This is the first full year the project has been underway, and the leading artists say there’s more work to be done.
Artists Jeff Beck and his wife Adrienne Lortie started the Tville Mural Project in the summer of 2022.
Their goal is to transform downtown Thomasville with art.
”We wanted to focus on bringing foot traffic and businesses to downtown Thomasville,” said Jeff Beck, Tville Mural Project co-founder and mural artist.
Beck and his wife work on the murals themselves.
It’s been nearly a year and a half since they started. The project finished five murals in 2022 and a total of 13 this year. Some of the murals have been painted over with new ones.
The project is backed by Thomasville Tourism and Pace Downtown Thomasville and funded by grants they have been able to continue their efforts.
“At first … it was a little rough,” Beck said. “We were having to explain what murals are and make the difference between street art and graffiti. But once we got people on board and started painting the murals and stuff, it just kind of exploded.”
The goal is for people to come downtown to take photos with the murals, use the hashtag #TvilleMurals and stop by local businesses while visiting.
A mural is currently being painted at Misty’s Cakes and Healthy Bakery on Randolph Street. It’s one of the last ones Beck is working on in 2023.
It will be covering another mural the project painted on the building last year.
Operating from its current location for 13 years, the business has noticed an increase in people stopping by since the first mural was added.
“Usually, they’ll be like little kids out there having their pictures made with the butterfly that was on there before … Hopefully when people come by to check out the mural, they’ll stop in and maybe pick up some goodies that we have,” said Misty Hulin, Misty’s Healthy Bakery owner.
One man who is a photographer visited Thomasville to take photos of one of the murals after learning about it on Facebook.
“I was out here in 2021, and there weren’t as many murals, and I was kind of shocked. I’m actually looking around the corners downtown, and I’m seeing new murals,” said Dale Briggs, a photographer visiting the mural.
“We hear from tourism all the time that people come into the city just because of the murals, and we’ve even had people from out of the country come and specifically come here to tour the murals,” Beck said.
The Tville Mural Project recently completed a Christmas mural on the Alibi Bar and Lounge on Salem Street in downtown Thomasville.
They will paint their first mural of the new year over it in the first week of January.