Local artist creates mural on North King Street
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Downtown Morganton
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Local artist creates mural on North King Street

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You may have already seen his work — but now, you can’t miss it.

Brandon Lynn, a Morganton native, recently completed a mural on North King Street as part of the ongoing initiative of bringing “parklets” and “streateries” to downtown Morganton. He is also the artist behind the mural on the side of Oak Hill Iron + Wood.

The mural on King Street is painted directly onto the southbound lane of the street, and will serve as the backdrop for a streatery that will stay in place 24/7. This means that North King Street will be closed from West Union Street to the public parking lot behind Root & Vine for the next 90 days. However, the public parking lot will remain open, and access to other local businesses in the area will not be blocked or inhibited by the new installation. People will still be able to freely access all the small businesses in the area surrounding the streatery.

The new streatery will feature tables, chairs, umbrellas, and additional pieces of art. This streatery is the latest addition to a series of parklets and streateries that were added to downtown Morganton in June to help businesses and restaurants safely serve more customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lynn said the mural is meant to evoke the happiness and joy of childhood, and help people connect with their inner child. He said the mural represents “becoming a child.”

The new mural is made up of vibrant colors, block patterns and flowing lines. A hopscotch pattern at one end is accompanied by stick figures, cobblestones, and the saying “Step on a crack, break mom’s back.” The array of motifs that evoke the nostalgia of childhood merge into a vibrant pattern of colors that end at King Street’s intersection with West Union Street.

Among the mural are a few hidden gems that show Lynn’s artistic influence in the piece. A white line that flows through the piece arcs back and forth to create a “C,” “C” and “T” — initials of his daughters, Cadence and Caitlin, and his wife, Tiffany. The line that contains his family’s initials contains a heart shape, and flows into a line that resembles an EKG line. Lynn said that imagery is twofold.

“It’s the heartbeat of Morganton, and my family is my heartbeat,” Lynn said.

By day, Lynn works in nuclear medicine at Frye Regional Medical Center, but said art is his passion — he also does custom airbrush, pinstriping and paint jobs for vehicles and motorcycles. Painting a motorcycle with no creative restraint is his favorite thing to do, he said.

Lynn said he never received any formal training in art, and never went to school to be an artist. Rather, he honed his skills over time by just hammering away at his craft.

“I love my patients and love nuclear medicine, but art is my passion,” Lynn said. “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

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