Downtown Kinston Mural Program

The City of Kinston received funding from the NEA Our Town program to support the creation of a Downtown Kinston Mural Program in which the City will commission seven original outdoor public murals, to be completed by December 2020. The mural locations will be scattered throughout downtown, with the aim of enhancing connectivity between cultural and economic assets in Kinston’s city center. The creation of the murals will coincide with a City-led $3.2 million downtown streetscape improvement project (to include new street trees, sidewalks, crosswalks, parking street lights, and traffic patterns).

Max and Jamil Virtual Artist Talk1

Join us January 21st, 5:30-7pm for Max and Jamil's Artist Talk

Zoom Link: (will go live 10 minutes before the event begins)

Facebook Event: 

To see Max and Jamil's mural panels, go to our "Artists" page!

Have you seen our murals map (in progress)

Seraphim Smith - Painting at 401 S. Queen (corner of S Queen and Shine St) from January 6 - 12th!

Seraphim Smith Arrival

Seraphim Smith is a local artist with talents in painting, food, design, and marketing. He is a Kinston SmART Artist who has helped many organizations tell their story and promote Kinston. Most recently, Seraphim has expanded his work celebrating Eastern North Carolina on the PBS Show NC Weekend, produced by UNC-TV. In his own words, "Bringing our citizens together is one of my goals as a resident of Kinston. Large scale murals are visually stunning, and... I think the mural program will draw visitors and citizens alike to linger in and enjoy downtown Kinston." To learn more about Seraphim, visit his artist website at 

Selected Artists

 A full presentation of the artists and their prior work is available on our Artists page. 

Downtown Mural Program - Completed Murals

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Selection Committee

A Selection Committee has been formed to provide oversight of the Mural Program, including: 1) refining the program’s goals, 2) curating mural locations, 3) selecting artists based on qualifications and alignment with program goals, and 4) the approval of concepts.The members of the 2019-2020 Downtown Mural Program Selection Committee are:
  • Geraldyne Barbour
  • Courtney Boyette
  • Prishonda Daniels
  • Celestine Davis
  • Tyndall Davis
  • Kyaira Harper
  • Stephen Hill
  • William Hudson
  • Rita Joyner
  • Robert Koonce
  • Lessette Kornegay
  • Sandy Landis
  • James Mumford
  • Felicia Solomon (Council Member)
  • Kristal Suggs (Council Member)
  • Bennett Wynne

Program Goals

Here are the goals for the program, adopted by the Selection Committee in October 2019:

  • To use creative placemaking efforts as a way to promote dialogue around social justice issues and community concerns, and to bring together our diverse citizenry through community-based, grassroots collaboration.
  • To reveal the vibrancy of Kinston through the cultural experiences that promote the history, arts, sports, and regional authenticity that make this city special.
  • To revitalize downtown as a cultural and shopping experience for both residents and tourists.
  • To provide economic opportunities for local and regional artists, establishing Kinston as a place for creative people to live, work, and sell their wares.
  • To inspire, motivate, and instill pride in Kinstonians by creating an accessible outdoor gallery of beautiful and thought-provoking public art that reflects the unique character of our community.


The original timeline has been shifted due to COVID-19. The Mural Program is moving forward through virtual meetings and according to local, state, and federal recommendations for public health and social distancing.

December 3, 2019:

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) opens.

January 20, 2020:

RFQ closes. All applications must be submitted (electronically, by mail, or in person) by 5 PM EST on this date.

February 2020:

Shortlist created and additional materials (such as budget/fee examples) requested. Interviews via Skype or in person (if local/regional) may take place.

June 2020:

Artists selected and notified. Artists matched with walls.

July 2020:

Artists work with City staff and Selection Committee to refine and finalize project concepts, budgets, and fee.

August 2020:

Contracts established with artists.

August to December 31st 2020:

Mural projects commence.

December 31st 2020:

Mural projects must be complete.

The City of Kinston reserves the right to change the project timeline.

Artist Selection – RFQ closed on January 20, 2020

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released in December 2019 and closed on January 20th, 2020. The Selection Committee received 175 submissions and is currently reviewing those submissions. This is a qualifications-based selection process; artists will develop concepts after they are selected based on their past experience, artistry, alignment with the program’s goals, and demonstrated interest. The City, with recommendations from the Selection Committee, expects to select up to ten artists for up to ten murals.  


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If you have a question, please reach out by email to or contact the City of Kinston Planning Department by phone (252-939-3271).