Islanders driving through Avon may notice that the Askins Creek Store in Avon looks a little brighter these days, thanks to the addition of a new mural that covers the street-facing side of the store’s car wash building.
The mural in question is another addition by art teacher Justin Paxton and a team of Cape Hatteras Secondary School (CHSS) students, who have been spending roughly a year painting the landmarks and businesses of Hatteras village red, (and blue, and green, and yellow.)
For this latest installment of street art in their growing outdoor collection, the crew went well outside of Hatteras village’s borders, after Dolores Scott of Askins Creek reached out to see if Justin would be willing to take on a new challenge.
“I said yes, and we came up with some ideas together, and agreed on one,” says Justin. “They provided us the paint, and put some donations towards the [CHSS] Art Department.”
While Hatteras village’s collection of murals focus on attributes that make the village stand out, (like the town’s inherent connection to offshore fishing), Avon’s own distinctive character is highlighted in this new artistic work. A kiteboarder and windsurfer glide over unsuspecting fish beneath the surface, which pays homage to the popular Kite Point and Canadian Hole watersports destinations just a couple of miles away. “That was the whole idea,” says Justin.
Other than the location and subject matter, there were a couple of not-as-appreciated differences with this new work as well, such as the length of time it took to complete.
Though the towering mural required an estimate 24 hours total to paint, the project took more than two months to finish, as the winter weather continually chose not to cooperate.
“It’s been battle to finish,” says Justin. “We were hoping to finish a long time ago, but we never got a chance to because of all the rain and wind this winter. And we don’t want to take the chance of destroying a piece because I was impatient.”
But Justin and the team of roughly eight students continued to work diligently when the weather allowed, and they finished the last brush strokes this past Saturday, March 2, despite the environmental hurdles.
There’s still plenty more work on the horizon, too, as Justin plans to add new murals in Hatteras village, including one at the Dancing Turtle Coffee Shop, as well as another new mural in Avon – this time on the side of Kinnakeet Corner, which is the home of Burger Burger, Turner’s HIgh Moon Bar, and the new Raise the Bar Gym.
“People are asking [for murals] more and more, and a lot of students pitch in to a hand,” says Justin, “so we plan to just keep on working.”
To read more about Justin Paxton’s island-wide street art, click here.