Artist chosen for Route 13 Salisbury mural project

Salisbury artist Paul Boyd III has been selected to paint a community-themed mural at the corner of East Church Street and Route 13.

Paul Boyd III.

Boyd was chosen from a field of artists who submitted designs and work schedules for the project.

Based in Salisbury, Boyd’s design company, Seven Digits and Running Studios, brings urban influence to portraiture, interior design, and even fashion. Boyd’s work can be found in homes and businesses around Salisbury, and even in the office of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson in New York City.

Though his skill shines through in every piece he creates, Boyd’s talent for portraiture is remarkable.  His portfolio is filled with stunningly lifelike paintings with tremendous depth and character.

Mayor Jake Day said the selection followed ample community input.

“When we met with residents of the Church Street neighborhood to ask what they wanted the mural to be,” Day said, “the answers we heard gave us two clear priorities for the subject matter: Depict the history of the African American community in Salisbury, and show us a road to the future.

“Paul’s design is exactly that,” Day said. “He nailed it.”

Boyd’s submission depicts five prominent figures: World War I hero and recipient of the Sgt. William Butler, American Distinguished Service Cross and French Croix de Guerre; Charles P. Chipman, respected educator and principal of Salisbury Industrial High School; beloved Salisbury High School teacher Elaine Brown; James Stewart, mortician to Salisbury’s African American community; and Dr. G. Herbert Sembly, who practiced medicine in Salisbury for more than 60 years.

In addition to the faces of the esteemed figures which line the top of the mural, children are depicted in the foreground, playing and preparing for school.

A train bisects the mural, indicating the passage of time. Two passengers await their turn to become guiding influences for future generations, and a family holds hands as they face the future.

Upon completion, the mural will serve as a gateway to the Church Street neighborhood. It will be accompanied by a wayfinding sign which will celebrate notable architecture in the neighborhood.

“Paul Boyd is helping Salisbury accomplish something for the residents and businesses of the Church Street neighborhood that they have long deserved,” Day said.

“We have eliminated a blighted property on an easily ignored corner and replaced it with an attractive sign, a landscaped plaza, a beautiful gateway and a stunning piece of art that celebrates the neighborhood’s history.

“This neighborhood has been too often ignored, too little cared for, and too easily ripped apart by the highways that cut through it. It is high time we started to find ways to help those wounds heal,” Day said.

Work on the mural is expected to take approximately five weeks. Upon completion, the city will host a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

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