Mural Arts Program

Unlocking Sanford's History With Art

To showcase Sanford's rich and interesting history, the City of Sanford's Appearance Commission has guided the creation of several historical murals in downtown Sanford and Jonesboro. The added bonus of the mural program is that they unlock Sanford's history for newcomers and youth, alike. The vibrant scenes create a pride in our community that gives everyone a sense a belonging.

Sanford's current murals:

  1. Sanford Spinners – This mural honors all the athletes who played for the Sanford Spinners baseball team in the Tobacco State League during the late 1940s. The Spinners played at Temple Park, located at the corner of McIver and Seventh streets. The field and grandstand (which no longer exists) were built by the WPA. The mural was inspired by Howard Auman, who pitched the Spinners to its first league championship in 1946.
    ♦ Completed: May 2015
    ♦ Location: corner of Wicker Street and Horner Blvd in downtown Sanford
    Sponsor: Sanford Contractors
    Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  2. ‘Off to War’ World War II Tribute – This mural honors all the men and women of Sanford and Lee County who have served and protected our country, as well as those who continue to do so.
    ♦ Completed: September 2015
    Location: corner of Moore and Carthage streets in downtown Sanford
    Sponsor: Chris Dalton
    Muralist: Chris Dalton

  3. Visionary Builders – A tribute to Sanford’s early African American leaders, this mural features W.B. Wicker and Link Boykin. Wicker (right) was a beloved educator who served as the first principal of the South Sanford Graded School. Boykin (left) was a prominent builder and business owner in the 1900s. He is responsible for many of Sanford’s historic buildings and homes.
    ♦ Completed: October 2015
    Location: corner of Wall Street and Horner Blvd in downtown Sanford
    Sponsors: Knott's Funeral Home, Downtown Sanford, Lee County Arts Council, Wilson and Reives, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and citizen donations
    Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  4. Silent Wings – This mural honors Lee Roy Perry, Frank Blalock Sr., and Edward ‘Bucky’ Williams who were glider pilots during World War II.
    ♦ Completed: September 2016
    Location: corner of Steele and Wicker streets in downtown Sanford
    Sponsors: Blalock, Perry, and Williams families
    Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  5. Herb Thomas and the Fabulous Hudson Hornet – Herb Thomas and his Fabulous Hudson Hornet were instrumental in the birth of NASCAR. Thomas was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame at Darlington, South Carolina in 1965 the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama in 1994. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998 and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2012.
    ♦ Completed: October 2016
    Location: 133 N. Steele Street in downtown Sanford
    Sponsor: Central Carolina Enterprise Park
    Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  6. Dr. Pepper Restoration – The ghost signage located on Bert’s Furniture in downtown Sanford was restored to its original colors.
    ♦ Completed: November 2016
    Location: 215 S. Horner Blvd in downtown Sanford
    Sponsor: Coca Cola/Dr. Pepper of Sanford, NC
    Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  7. Jonesboro Cornet Band – The Jonesboro Cornet Band was a well-known musical ensemble in the early 1900s. Sanford and Jonesboro were still separate cities during that time.
    ♦ Completed: July 2017
    Location: Main Street in historic Jonesboro
    Sponsor: Jonesboro Historical Society, Dr. Larry O’Connell, descendants of the Cornet Band, and citizen donations
    Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  8. Fairview Dairy – The Fairview Dairy was founded in 1927 by the Yarborough family with ten cows to provide milk for all of Sanford. The current Yarborough’s Ice Cream restaurant was opened in 1930 and has been in the family ever since. This is the first 3-D mural in North Carolina.
    ♦ Completed: October 2017
    Location: 132 McIver Street in downtown Sanford
    Sponsors: N.C. House of Representatives (grant), the Duke Energy Foundation (grant), Carol and Ann Yarborough, Paradise Towing, and citizen donations
    Muralists: Chris Dalton, Michael Dalton, and Sandy Scott

A Walking Through History

The best way to view Sanford's murals is on foot. Use this handy Mural Arts Trail Map to find your way.

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Liz Whitmore at 919-718-4657 x 5393 or liz.whitmore@sanfordnc.net.