In the heart of Fayetteville a unique place exists; a functioning alley that features rotating works of art. Art Alley is a place where large canvas artwork is hung to create a place of joy and social commentary. Art Alley is another initiative by the Cool Spring Downtown District that acts as a symbol and catalyst of a healthier more artful city.
The Cool Spring Downtown District is proud to feature Richard Wilson’s art as our first artist in Art Alley located at 222 Hay Street in Downtown Fayetteville. Richard Wilson is a celebrated North Carolina artist and holds many accomplishments over his 20-year career. Richard Wilson is the first African American artist to have a portrait hung in any courthouse in North Carolina. You can find his work across the country from Barton College, Vanderbilt University, as well as the homes of Tina Knowles and Gladys Knight.
A not so hidden gem, the corridor hopes to become an ever-evolving hub for local and regional artists to show their artwork in an urban space. The district worked with the City of Fayetteville’s Park and Recreation department to tidy the alley and improve the lighting for those viewing the artwork. We believe that by activating the Art Alley we are providing safe, fun, inviting spaces for community engagement and another reason to “love where you live.”
Richard Wilson developed his love for art from his Father and began drawing by the age of 8. He remembers watching his father draw and became mesmerized by the creative process. He credits his family for allowing him to foster his creativity from a young age. Wilson uses his life experiences as inspiration for his pieces as seen in his works “A Pathway Home” and “Stage Fright.” His art invites the viewer into moments of time that feel familiar. In his historical works such as “Jack Johnson” and “Bessie Coleman,” you will see Wilson juxtaposing the notable African American historical figures in the midst of the children who would be inspired by them.
We encourage you to visit Richard Wilson’s art to our Art Alley at 222 Hay Street in October. We will open the Art Alley Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. If you would like to know more about Richard Wilson, you can visit his website or Facebook page where he holds live art shows on Thursday.