Countdown Until Popular Midtown Mural is Painted Over

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It is an out of this world mural masterpiece: purples and teals. Shadows and angles. Stars and cement. And next week, it will be painted over, to make way for new art on the side of the Metropolitan in Midtown Charlotte.

The Met posted about the mural removal on Instagram. When WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty saw the surprised response, she asked artist Andy Rocco if he’d speak with her. He agreed, reluctantly. He wants to make it clear: he never expected his piece to remain on this wall forever.

He says, “Unfortunately the way I found out (when it would be removed) was not the greatest.”

It took Rocco about two months to paint the astronaut and the second installation next to it. They’ve been up for about six months. He says, “I’m not thrilled to see it’s going to be coming down soon, but it is what it is.”

The Met tells WCCB, in part: “From the onset, the goal…has been to celebrate the city’s immense local talent and give several creatives an opportunity to have their work on display every six months to one year…”

Rocco says that was not communicated to him. He shared a message with WCCB where a Met employee acknowledges an email intended for Rocco may have never been delivered due to a “corporate-wide crash in August.”

Rocco also pointed out the color-coordinated planters near the astronaut mural, which seems like an unusual purchase for temporary art. We asked the Met if they plan to purchase new planters that match each new mural’s color scheme.

So far, no reply.

Rocco is thrilled the art scene in Charlotte is expanding. And he is grateful for the opportunity to paint the astronaut. He says, “I’m not gonna be thrilled when I drive by and see it gone, but I’m eager to see what goes up next.”

Work on the new mural that will replace the astronaut starts next Wednesday. The Met General Manager says they plan to “re-engage with Andy (Rocco) in 2020.”