A Loud Mural with an Even Louder Message

Nina Simone mural at Tryon Fine Arts Center.

With the help of more than 100 local participants in Raleigh practicing an old-fashioned technique of crocheting on 2’x2’ pieces, internationally recognized artist Olek, originally from Poland, created a cohesive mural of Nina Simone. The illuminated, hot-pink-and-orange panorama says “Here Comes the Sun” — a reference to Simone’s jazz cover of the Beatles’ classic pop tune — to signify hope for a brighter future. 

The mural, which has been hanging on the eastern façade of the Raleigh Convention center for the past year, now adorns Tryon Fine Arts Center. The piece is part of Olek’s public-art project “Love Across the USA” that highlights women from history and stories from the front lines of feminism. She presents her work in loud, unforgettable color to alter public spaces, almost like a fiber-art form of graffiti.

Michelle Fleming, assistant director of communications at Tryon Fine Arts Center, tells Bold Life, “We are so excited to provide a second home to Olek’s installation. As the birthplace of Nina Simone, Tryon is uniquely able to understand and appreciate the power and intention of [the artist’s] message.” 

­— Story and photo by Rachel Pressley

The Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Ave. tryonarts.org. On Wednesday, Nov. 14, 10:30am, Olek will appear at TFAC for an artist’s talk and reception to celebrate the new residency for the mural. Free. For more information, call 828-859-8322.

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