Local residents will soon be able to enjoy new public art as they walk, bike, and run on a newly developed portion of the Town’s trail and greenway system. Beginning this weekend, an artist will create two murals on the tunnel entries of Bolin Creek Trail where it passes under Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. As the art installation progresses, community members can expect some equipment on site, a trail detour, and a virtual celebration when the art is completed in June.
The Town’s Community Arts & Culture Division commissioned Raleigh-based muralist J Massullo for the project. Masullo has created a number of murals in the Triangle and his work can be seen at Duke University, around the City of Durham, and at a variety of commercial establishments in the Triangle. The artist uses traditional graffiti spray painting techniques and incorporates elements from the natural world. For these murals, Masullo’s design includes a variety of stylized insects, animals, flora, and fauna.
To create the murals, the artist will use a lift to access parts of the tunnel from Friday, May 15 through Sunday, May 18. During this time, there will be a detour just west of the tunnel. The reroute will guide trail users to the crosswalk at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Umstead Drive, and then access Bolinwood Drive and Hillsborough Street to safely detour the worksite. Finishing touches to the art will take place on subsequent weekends, but the trail will remain open.
Once completed, this new portion of the Bolin Creek Trail will provide easy pedestrian and bicycle travel from the Chapel Hill Community Center on S. Estes Drive to Umstead Park, and on to the Northside neighborhood and Downtown Chapel Hill via the recently improved Tanyard Branch Trail. Phil Fleischmann, Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation Director, says that this project offers several benefits for the community, “This project advances a variety of Town goals around connectivity and vibrancy and we were pleased to work with Community Arts & Culture. We are so excited for the community to use this new connector and experience this art, especially as people look for new opportunities to get outside.”
The new Bolin Creek trail connector is planned to officially open to the public sometime this Summer. To celebrate the art and preview the new trail, Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation and Community Arts & Culture will host a virtual celebration on June 5. To learn more about the Bolin Creek Trail project, visit https://www.townofchapelhill.org/government/departments-services/parks-and-recreation/greenways/bolin-creek-trail. To find out more about the Town’s public art program, visit https://www.chapelhillarts.org/ To see more of the artist’s work, visit https://jmassulloart.com/