Kinston art project works to connect businesses and community

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The area between major businesses and the Kinston community is getting a face-lift in the form of a historic art project.

The pieces of the project have been setting for months. The Earth cast barn fronts are fashioned after a tobacco warehouse that used to stand in the same spot. Kinston residents are hoping the project will serve as a gateway for more growth.

“This draws you from downtown and gives you a reason to come down this way,” says Stephen Hill with smART Kinston Foundation. “You’ll continually go to the district to buy things from these artists we’re recruiting from all over the world.”

Hill was essential to this project and recruited the world-renowned artist, Thomas Sayre, to create the installation. Sayre says he’s inspired by the progress in the Eastern North Carolina city.

“A lot is happening where art is being served up as an economic generator, as a re birthing agent,” says Sayre. “This becomes a major statement.”

The statement? That Kinston is on the rise and is starting with its roots.

“The arts in Kinston are alive and well and really make a difference in economic development and the health and welfare of our community,” says Sandy Landis with the Kinston Arts Council.

The installation is expected to be completed by Thursday and open to the public by the New Year.

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