Durham Arts’ Students Create Outdoor Art at American Tobacco

American Tobacco outdoor art

Durham School of the Arts students created this outdoor mosaic mural at American Tobacco.

In early 2015, American Tobacco Campus partnered with Durham School of the Arts on an outdoor public art project. The project consisted of transforming an outdoor concrete slab between the Lucky Strick and Noel buildings into a tile mural.

Larry Downing, an artist and DSA teacher, spearheaded the project with 11th grader Monica Lee. Monica created patterns for the 90 tile mural via Photoshop, and Mr. Downing implored two classes of DSA students to color and glaze the tiles as part of his curriculum.

The theme of the mural is Nicotiana – a tobacco plant hybrid. The ornamental flower hybrid was chosen as a metaphor for ATC and its roots in tobacco. Monica was inspired by the work of Mississippi artist Walter Anderson, while Mr. Downing inspired his students with historic video footage of American Tobacco Campus from its manufacturing days.

The final product was installed in late May. American Tobacco Campus covered all costs of materials and installation of the mural….which is now available for viewing!

Thanks to ATC’s Shawn Olender for this capcom story & photo.

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