by Catherine Currin
There’s a new mural downtown featuring blues singer and North Carolina native Nina Simone. The explosion of color plastered across the exterior wall of the Raleigh Convention Center is made entirely of yarn, a mosaic of 2-foot-by-2-foot squares stitched by community members last summer.
The 40-foot-by-20-foot final mural is the third in a nationwide public art series called Love Across America by Polish-born artist Olek. Olek is best known for her eclectic crocheted installation that covered the bronze Wall Street bull in New York City. She came to Raleigh in honor of Tryon, North Carolina-born Simone: The late singer was recently nominated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Olek hopes the art will encourage fans to vote for her inclusion. The yarn will only stand the weather for so long: This local vision of Love is expected to hang through the early spring.