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 (in order of completion date):

  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, NC
    ♦ 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, NC
    ♦ 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 (left) was a beloved educator who served as the first principal of the South Sanford Graded School. Boykin (right) 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, NC
    ♦ 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, NC
    ♦ 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, NC
    ♦ Sponsor: Central Carolina Enterprise Park
    ♦ Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  6. 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, NC
    ♦ Sponsors: Jonesboro Historical Society, Dr. Larry O’Connell, descendants of the Cornet Band, and citizen donations
    ♦ Muralist: Scott Nurkin, The Mural Shop

  7. 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, NC
    ♦ Sponsors: Grant from The Honorable John Sauls of the N.C. House of Representatives and the State of North Carolina, Grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, Carol and Ann Yarborough, Paradise Towing, and citizen donations
    ♦ Muralists: Chris Dalton, Michael Dalton, and Sandy Scott

  8. Tobacco History - This mural celebrates Sanford's agricultural heritage by depicting the process of taking tobacco to market. The mural will feature a three-dimensional mule, making it Sanford's second 3D mural, and only the second for the state.
    ♦ Completed: Summer 2018
    ♦ Location: Sanford Rent-All, 526 Wicker Street in downtown Sanford, NC
    ♦ Sponsors: Grant from The Honorable John Sauls of the N.C. House of Representatives and the State of North Carolina
    ♦ Muralist: Chris Dalton

  9. DREAM - The first of Sanford's non-historical murals, the DREAM mural is meant to spark the imagination in all who view it.
    ♦ Completed: Summer 2018
    ♦ Location: 2412 S. Horner Blvd in Sanford, NC
    ♦ Sponsors: Grant from The Honorable John Sauls of the N.C. House of Representatives, the State of North Carolina, and the Cameron Shopping Center
    ♦ Muralist: Chris Dalton

  10. Bringing the Arts Together - This mural features a spinning wheel to celebrate the vibrant mix of arts in Sanford.
    ♦ Completed: in progress
    ♦ Location: 220 S. Horner Blvd in Sanford, NC
    ♦ Sponsors: The Sanford Brush & Palette Club
    ♦ Muralist: Chris Dalton

A Walk 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.