In 2020, the Downtown Kinston Mural Program Selection Committee chose a group of artists to create a collection of public murals in our downtown. The process was competitive, with over 165 local, state, national, and international applicants. The resident-led Mural Selection Committee spent several months of discussion to select a group of artists diverse in style, content, background, location, and experience. Committee member Celestine Davis shared the Committee’s hopes for the program and the artists participating.
“The Kinston I know has always been steeped in the arts,” said Davis, “They have lifted us, changed lives, and crossed boundaries of all types. Despite many challenges that have resulted in economic and community disinvestment by some, Kinston remains strong. I am proud of my hometown. With all that’s going on right now, I believe that the Kinston Mural Program is the perfect opportunity for us to unite, heal, and celebrate who we have always been--a forward-thinking community of excellence.”
The following artists have been selected. Below is a record of their professional website, mural, its location, and a link to their Virtual Artist Talks and media coverage.
- Maxx Moses - "The Journey"
- Broderick Flanigan - "Kinston Strong"
- Maximillian Mozingo & Jamil Burton "Adkin High School Walkout"
- Choci Gray - "Alice Hannibal and Dr. Greg Hannibal"
- Seraphim Smith - "Okra"
- Jared Bader "Kinston Music Educators"
- Timothy Robert Smith - "Sugar Hill"
Professional Website: Mural Wall:
https://posetwo.com/ IG:@maxxmoses777 J's Place; 110 W Blount St
Mural Creation: September 5th - September 30th
- Artist Talk on Zoom available here
- Neuse News - "Kinston Welcomes Maxx Moses, First Artist of Downtown Kinston Mural Program"
- WITN - "Mural Livens Up Downtown"
Professional Website: Mural Wall:
https://flanigansportraits.wixsite.com/bflan Mad Hatter; 212 W North St.
- Virtual Artist Talk here
- ENC Moments - "Georgia Artist Works on Mural of Kinston Sporting Legends"
Artist Professional Websites: Mural Location:
Facebook: LC Heritage
Golden Progress Community Center; 524 S Queen St
Mural Creation: March 8th - May 7th
Professional Website: Mural Wall
https://seraphimsmith.com/ 401 S Queen
Mural Creation: January 6th-12th, 2021
- Adkin High School Walkout
- The March
- Who Sent You?
- Carver Theater
- We the People
- One Voice
The Adkin High School Walkout murals honor the students who organized and participated in the 1951 walkout to advocate for equal educational facilities. Read the official story of the Adkin High School Walkout here.
In Maximillian’s words: I knew it was an important project as soon as I heard about the concept. Hearing from Mr. Dudley showed me how important it is to preserve the story and use it to empower young people to have the confidence to do similar things now. I wanted to share the story of the Adkin High School Walkout, but use symbols of pride and confidence to share the spirit of the moment as well as the facts. I think it will also be very insightful, and it will be important for people who don’t know this part of Kinston’s history to learn it. It was a fun project, I enjoyed working with my friend Jamil, and I think it will make a great impact on the community.
In Jamil’s words: I really enjoyed the experience, and any time I get to work with Max is a good thing. The movement itself, especially led by children, was a brave step for them to take their future in their own hands. I want people to feel the enormity of what they did, and to feel that respect. When you look at the images, realize what you’re looking at is a lot of symbolism, but the story and the statement of the walkout should be respected.
The March“The March” shows students walking in procession down the street. In Jamil’s word, “to show they were walking as one heartbeat, going about the task at hand”. The expressions on the students’ faces are an attempt to capture the emotions the students were feeling as they were marching.
Who Sent You?
“Who Sent You?” shows the silhouettes of the 720 students who participated in the walkout and sun rays of hope emanating from them. The colors in this mural are the same as the Pan-African flag, and the liberation colors of black folks in America—red for blood, black for skin color, and green for the African continent. The mural also centers on a student with an afro that is a collage of student photos from Adkin High, representing new horizons and pioneering students.
This panel shows the Carver Theater where the students met after the march; the student in the foreground is Mr. John Dudley and in the back are representative of the ad hoc committee members. The Carver Theater on Washington is longer standing but is an essential part of the story and memorialized in this panel.
“Victory” is a propaganda-style poster, similar to “Rosie the Riveter”. The old Adkin gymnasium is burning in the background, with a single microscope on one side and used books on the other to symbolize the limited resources the students were allocated by the School Board compared to white high schools. The colors are the Adkin High School colors – blue and gold.
This panel has a portrait of Carolyn Coefield, and signs with the colors and names of the City of Kinston and Adkin High School to represent the involvement of both the school system and the city at Adkin High School.
We the People
“We the People” symbolizes the students using their constitutional right to equal education under the 14th amendment (though this wouldn’t be acknowledged by the Supreme Court until 1954). A student silhouette steps down onto the Constitution with the school in the background. Above her is the signal that started the walkout –“Carolyn Coefield has lost her red pocketbook”. In the background are poppy flowers, which represent peace, remembrance and beauty.
“Grace” shows a student walking with a stack of books. On each book there’s a stamp that says ‘used’, representing how most of the educational materials at Adkin High School were used; in spite of that the students held their heads high and continued to learn like everyone else.
“One Voice” represents how the actions of the Adkin High students are still felt by current generations. In the center, hands are clasping in unity, one generation helping the other along. On the left side is John Dudley, one of the students who planned the walkout, and on the left is Olivia Moore, a 16 year old student who organized a Black Lives matter protest in Winston-Salem, N.C. The color purple through the mural represents unity between the two generations. In Maximillian’s words, “The past makes way for the future”.
Eligible mural walls were selected from willing property owners located in or near the Municipal Service District downtown (purple), and not part of any existing Historic Districts (blue and yellow). The following were chosen:
- 212 W North St
- 314 N Queen St
- 110 W Blount St
- 228 S Queen St
- 401 S Queen St
- 524 S Queen St
- 101 N. Queen St