N.C. city rejects military mural design amid diversity, artistic concerns

There's looming discussions over the design of a proposed tribute to the Coast Guard in Elizabeth City

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WVEC) – It’s back to the drawing board for two mural designs that were planned for a city park.

Elizabeth City council members made the decision after concerns that the renderings did not accurately represent the community.

"We're right on the intercostal waterways, so this presents Elizabeth City to the world," said Mayor Joe Peel.

The murals, which are citizen-funded will be printed on a building at Coast Guard Park, located off Riverside Avenue.

They depict aircraft and the other displays Coast Guardsman, whom are all white.

"The Coast Guard is also a very diverse organization with females and African-Americans. I felt like they could be more of them depicted,” said Peel.

The displays also lacked any artistic elements, Peel explained.

13News Now reached out to the Coast Guard. A local on the Elizabeth City base explained that he had concerns with the mural because it was unclear if the service members were aware of their depiction.

Elizabeth City Downtown Incorporated is responsible for going back and figuring out a new design.

“The design went through multiple design iterations. As time progressed, the players changed due to transfers and retirements,” said Executive Director, Deborah Malenfant. “As new players came into the process, there was miscommunication about expectations, resulting in a misalignment of outcomes with expectations.”

The organization will now have to create a new committee and talk with donors to alter that plans that were in the works for more than a year.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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