Basketball Court At Gastonia’s Erwin Park Is Being Transformed For Black Lives Matter Mural

GASTONIA, N.C. — Local Gastonia artists are transforming the basketball court at Erwin Park into a mural to honor the Black Lives Matter movement and community members are invited to help.

The 114 x 50-foot basketball court will feature the words “Black Lives Matter” in the center of the court in white letters which artists painted on Thursday. Inspired art will be added to the eight feet tall letters on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27.

In addition, community members are also invited to add their handprints onto the outer perimeter of the court on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28.

The idea of the mural was brought to life when Ezekiel Clay, Jr., a local professional artist, approached Mayor Walker Reid with a proposal for the mural that was unanimously approved by City Council at its June 2 meeting. Clay’s proposal was given to the City in response to the Black community calling for the mural and following Black Lives Matter murals being painted in other cities across the country.

The hope of the Gastonia Black Lives Matter mural is that more positive attention will also be brought to the Erwin Center and the Highland Community area of the City.

Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid, III made the following comment about the mural:

“We see the mural as another way to bring our community together.”

“It is important for everyone to come together during this time and express their creativity in support of a timely issue in our country.”

Youth and community groups interested in the project can contact Ezekiel Clay, Jr. through his Facebook page.

All community members who want to attend the event is required to wear masks and follow social distancing restrictions. The painting schedule will depend on weather.