This mural depicts beloved singer, Nina Simone. Born in North Carolina, Simone became famous for her musical talents, thoughtful lyrics, and advocacy of equality. Olek chose the quote “Here Comes the Sun,” a snippet of one of Simone’s most famous songs of the same name, because it exemplified hope and a brighter future.
In August, the international crochet artist Olek came to Raleigh to lead a series of workshops with residents. Participants worked with the artist to learn the techniques needed to create the artwork here in North Carolina. Over one-hundred participants each completed a 2 foot by 2 foot crocheted section of the mural. Olek returned in October to stitch the individual pieces into a cohesive whole. The completed piece is 40’ wide and 20’ high, and sited on the eastern facade of the Raleigh Convention Center in October 2017.
Love Across the USA is a community public art project with the goal of bringing the community together through open workshops and public art installations. To date, Olek and community members have created portraits of Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman in New York State. The pieces celebrate women’s rights, equality, and freedom of speech by depicting the accomplishments of extraordinary women from throughout U.S. history.
Partners for this public art project include Optic and Emily Alexander, Red Heart Yarns, Artspace, VAE Raleigh, CAM Raleigh, Anchorlight, Rebus Works, McConnell Studios, Top Greene Community Center, Chavis Community Center, Raleigh Convention Center, Black Girl in the Arts, Raleigh Murals Project, American Underground, Gridworks, HQ Raleigh, The Carrack, Deco, Arts Now NC, Black on Black, The Forge Initiative , Red Hat, and Lump.