project leader
Holly L
601 E. Elizabeth Street
(Downtown, Elizabeth City)
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After 5 weeks of hard work, I am proud to say the Elizabeth City Mural is Complete!

the project

The 16x42 foot mural will be located in Downtown Elizabeth City.  It depicts a city that is alive with diversity and youth, while simultaneously referring to the town's rich history as North Carolina's original Capitol.  The alley itself was named after William Pailin(1834-1907), who owned and operated a Mill just a few feet from the project's location.  By completing the mural, it is my objective to beautify the location with a splash of color in order to draw people downtown.  With new businesses opening nearly every month, the downtown area is becoming an area of interest for local business owners and residents alike.  It is my intention to continue generating that interest by helping to stimulate the economy of local businesses downtown.  There are a total of 2 public art pieces downtown, one being a replica of a vintage Coca-Cola advertisment.  I hope that the presence of this mural will increase the likelihood of  more public art popping up around town.

the steps

1.  Pressure wash the brick and allow to dry for 48 hours. (days 1-3)

2.  Apply 1 coat of the masonry primer/sealer and allow to dry 24 hours. (days 4-5)

3.  Apply 2 coats of background color allow each coat to dry 24-48 hours. (days 6-10)

4.  Project image onto wall and block-out the drawing. (days 11-16)

5.  Paint detail. (16-32)

6.  Apply Anti-Graffiti top coat. (days 33-34)

(Days 35-60 allow for delays due to weather and other unforseen events)

why we're doing it

I live in Elizabeth City, a beautiful little town nestled just west of the Outer Banks, along the Pasquotank River.  This town has charm and diversity and it champions the spirit of the small business and entrepreneurship.   It isn't lacking in appeal, yet it is missing one very important element: public art.  Art in public spaces does more than just add color and uniqueness to a location, it promotes economic growth and sustainability.  It creates a feeling of well-being, as well as a sense of belonging.  Public art benefits local artists by giving them opportunities to contribute to society and support themselves financially.  In the past, Elizabeth City was a bustling town that prospered as a merchantile city positioned at the southern mouth of the Dismal Swamp Canal, but over the years it's seen its share of economic ups and downs.  Right now is a pivotal moment in our history.  I feel that making public art present in Elizabeth City will catalyze the economic momentum that is already taking place in this gem of a town.


Disbursed budget:

4 gallons of Sher-Clear™ 1K Waterborne Acrylic Clear Coat -  $477.16

Art design, labor and unforeseen additional expenses (changed to) - $4,982.68

TOTAL RAISED = $7,900.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $237.00

Original Budget:

4 gallons of Sherwin Williams Loxon Concrete and Masonry Primer/Sealer -  $263.96 

4 gallons of Sherwin Williams Super Paint Exterior Latex Paint - $247.96 

4 gallons of Sherwin Williams Anti-Graffiti Coating - $ 885.16 

Vertical lift rental (1 week) - $204 

Nova Color Artist's Acrylic Paint -  $250 

Misc. Paint Supplies - $300 

Art design, labor and unforeseen additional expenses - $4,823.92

Historic Preservation Commission Application and postage - $25

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $218


After 5 weeks of hard work, I am proud to say the Elizabeth City Mural is Complete!

The mural is finished and Downtown Elizabeth City is a little brighter, just in time for the holidays!  I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of this project and look forward to the next.  Thank you to all the donors and volunteers that made this project possible! Follow me on instagram to see photos of the finished project!

Pailin's Alley Kick-off / Day 1

After a lot of ups and downs regarding the future of the project, I was finally given the go ahead to start on the Mural we've all been patiently waiting for.  The project officially kicked off a few days ago when the building was prepped by Hoffler's Auto Detailing and Pressure Washing, a local business here in Elizabeth City.  They did an excellent job by leaving the site squeaky clean and ready for paint.  

Yesterday morning I cruised on over to United Rentals and picked up a scissor lift with my husband, who later schooled me on using it.  When it came time to start prepping and painting, several volunteers showed up excited about the mural and ready to work.  Thanks to volunteers Abbi, Mike and Ophelie, I was able to get the surface completely primed and ready for the backgroud color.  I am excited to begin adding the first coat of back ground color later today!

I want to thank Ashley and all the crew at E-City's Sherwin-Williams Paint Store for being so helpful in getting me the supplies I needed.  I would also like to thank all of you donors that ultimately made this project possible.  I look forward to taking you all on the journey to it's completion!!

Thank you for your support!

Holly Cole Luke

Here we go!

Hi everyone!  I am super excited by all of your generous donations and social media "shares"!  We are off to a good start and I'm hoping to keep the momentum going!  With the pandemic looming over us like a fire-breathing dragon, I know it is hard to focus on much else, but I urge you to spread the word and help get the funds we need to make this project happen!  Let this project be a reminder that we can persevere in such dire times.  If you cannot personally give, please share this via all social networking platforms!  Unfortunately, there is a limited amound of funds and I have been notified that those funds are running low.  Sending you all my love!  Take care of yourselves and each other!


Holly Cole Luke

We're LIVE!!

Today is March 18th, 2020 and the Elizabeth City Mural Campaign page is officially open to receive donations!!  While we have yet to go public, we are asking friends, family and colleagues to help us raise a good foundation amount, so that we may increase our chances of reaching our goal when we go public.  I, myself, am super stoked for this opportunity to enhance the beauty of Downtown, Elizabeth City with more public art!  We aren't yet sharing via social media just yet, but please feel free to share via email or text message.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me, the Project Leader, at  


Holly Luke


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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