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Learn the story behind the new art mural in downtown Columbia

The State (Columbia, SC) logo The State (Columbia, SC) 3/15/2022 Patrick McCreless, The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Mar. 15—A new mural has popped up in downtown Columbia.

The new black and white mural of palm trees is on the side of The Palms on Main apartment building at the corner of Lady and Assembly Streets. The Congaree Vista Guild and Main Street District, which both helped pay for the mural, announced the finished project on Monday.

"We are so happy to have partnered with the Vista on this new art piece on the side of The Palms," said Matt Kennell, president and CEO for Main Street District. "It's an important corridor coming into Columbia and it's valuable to do things that tie the Vista and the Main Street District together to make downtown feel more cohesive, both for locals and visitors."

The mural is the creation of Ija Charles, a renowned Columbia artist who is a self-taught painter and entrepreneur. Charles' other works throughout Columbia include "Black Wall Street" at 1401 Main Street, "The Wonders of Cayce" in Cayce and a piece on Devine Street.

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The Congaree Vista Guild is a nonprofit, membership-based organization charged with seeing that Columbia's Vista — an official South Carolina Cultural District — is a vibrant symbol of Columbia as a progressive Southern city.

The Main Street District encompasses the 36-block area bounded by Gervais, Elmwood, Assembly and Marion streets in Columbia, SC. The organization provides public space management, economic development, place management, marketing services and public advocacy for the Main Street District.

"We are delighted to work on this project with the Main Street District," said Rosie Craig, Vista Guild board member. "The addition of such wonderful art throughout the community is so vital and inspiring to local residents and visitors alike. We're also grateful for the cooperation of the Arnold Family Corporation which is allowing the mural at their new property."

This story was originally published March 15, 2022 6:00 AM.


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