Robeson County Arts Council is now accepting sellers for the Christmas market

LUMBERTON – A 4 by 8 foot room dedicated to community centered art occupies part of the outer wall of the Inner Peace Center for the Arts.

The art gallery, recently relocated from Roberts Avenue to the historic three-story Kimbrell’s Furniture Store building in downtown Lumberton, recently hosted a sneak-peak event of the new facility, unveiling the first of many interchangeable murals on the site Third Street will be installed of the building at 302 N. Chestnut St.

Throughout the year, IPCA will showcase various murals that can tell the story of the community, create a unique downtown experience, increase appreciation for art and artists, and increase the overall attractiveness of the space.

It’s called The Mural Project.

“The Mural Project was the starting point. We wanted to unite the area and bring more art and give people the opportunity to see all aspects of the art we want to make, ”said Melvin Morris, gallery founder and curator.

Morris and his team at the gallery discussed bringing more creativity to the Lumberton area and one of the ideas developed was to incorporate murals that are changed regularly. The murals will feature various local artists, not just the artists in residence in the gallery.

“It’s a community mural project. Not only me, but other artists have the opportunity to come up to us and say we want to put up a mural about this and that, ”said Morris. “It has to be community based. Whatever we publish there, whatever content, it serves to support the community in the inner city. “

Morris, himself an artist, provided the first mural for the project entitled “The Offering”.

“The first is what Inner Peace will bring to the community and downtown,” said Morris.

The picture shows everything that the new gallery will offer and touches on theater, performance and culinary arts, music, painting, poetry and more. The mural shows several shops in downtown Lumberton.

“All of this content is shown in this mural, and that’s how people finally got to see what we’re going to do for Inner Peace,” said Morris.

The next mural will be unveiled after an Art Stroll event taking place downtown this fall. During the event, which is scheduled for November 4th, community members can get in touch with the gallery’s artists and paint sheet music or handprints on the next mural.

“We’re looking for something to bring the Christmas spirit to bear,” said Morris. “It’s a collective effort.”

Just a few feet from the mural is a large plaque that allows parishioners to add chalk art to the wall as they stroll through downtown Lumberton.

“We have some really great chalk artists here,” said Sara Voecks, the gallery’s director of art and marketing.

Morris hopes the project and board will coincide with the City of Lumberton Rediscovery Downtown Lumberton campaign, which aims to revitalize the old downtown buildings and streetscape in order to reach more pedestrians.

“Art has always been a big part of the renovation in any city, so we wanted to be a part of it – and bring the appeal to this area too, especially the gallery,” said Morris.

Individual artists or groups of artists can present their ideas to IPCA by contacting the gallery at 910-802-4340 or following the gallery on Facebook. The IPCA provides the materials for a mural.

“If the community supports it, we’ll set it up,” said Morris. “It’s more of an opportunity for artists to publish their work or get their name out there.”

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