New artwork at Shelley Lake Park inspired by Raleigh area landscapes and wildlife

New artwork at Shelley Lake Park inspired by Raleigh area landscapes and wildlife

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Shelley Lake Park is known for its scenery and wildlife. All kinds of animals – herons, eagles, ducks, fish, beavers and deer – make their home in and around Lake Raleigh.

Lately, the animals aren’t the only ones to captivate park visitors. People stop to watch Sam Greene paint. Its design gives new life to a large concrete structure, which is part of the sewer system.

“They’re called sewers,” Greene explained. “They’re not usually the prettiest things to look at, but they’re very important to the area’s infrastructure. »

When she embarked on the project, she wasn’t sure where to start, but she found ideas in her environment.

“Honestly, its shape perplexed me for a while, so I went over there and thought, ‘Well, maybe I should lean into the artificiality and do something that features ancient Greek pottery,’” she explained. . “My design features a lot of the local wildlife of Lake Shelley, so the center is home to many birds. You have the great blue heron, the cormorants, and then you have a group of fish underneath that are swimming in the lake.

Greene, who lives in Raleigh, is a full-time graphic designer, but she has painted other murals around the city.

She says the Sertoma Arts Center contacted this project at Shelley Lake Park and she was one of the artists selected.



After about a month of work, she says the mural is almost finished. “I’m almost there. I’m just finishing the background with the bald eagles,” she noted. The eagles are special to many park visitors. A pair of eagles, which visitors have named Raleigh and Shelley, returns to the lake year after year to nest.

People who walk along the trails enjoy watching the mural’s progress, and Greene says she enjoys talking with people who also find beauty in nature and art.

“Every time you go out, it’s such a beautiful thing that it’s hard not to be inspired by it,” she said. “I like to take what I saw from Shelley and translate it into a little love letter in my art.”