Murals imbue Presidents Cup with Charlotte flavor

Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez

A mural by artist Liz Haywood is on display at the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club on Thursday in Charlotte. Haywood drew inspiration for this particular piece from the song “The World is a Rainbow,” sung in Mr. Hill’s class at Dilworth Elementary School, and in particular the lyrics, “It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round.”

Trudge up the steep hill along Quail Hollow’s third fairway, and you can’t miss it.

It’s big. Eye-catching. It’s a mural, composed by Charlotte native and resident Liz Haywood, that seamlessly blends acrylic colors and faces and smiles from all walks of life — imbuing the international event that is the Presidents Cup with an indelible Charlotte flavor.

If you visit the Presidents Cup in Charlotte at all this weekend, joining in on the made-for-TV extravaganza that pits the best American golfers on the PGA Tour with some of the best golfers around the world, you’ll notice the six murals. They give the otherwise pristine scene of white tents and green grass and Carolina blue sky a refreshing dose of color. (Haywood’s mural features faces that resemble reality, but some of the others are clearly meant to be otherworldly, inventively mashing lines and colors and shapes galore.)

All six of the artists are associated with ArtPop Street Gallery, a local cooperative that helps Charlotte artists showcase their artwork. And they all are helping make this weekend uniquely Charlotte.

Haywood, for instance, said the story behind her mural is very much inspired by where she grew up.

“So I went to Dilworth Elementary School in Charlotte,” Haywood said as legions of fans strolled to the third green on Thursday, many stopping to get a better look at the mural as they walked by. “And my music teacher (Mr. Hill), every single morning in music, we would sing the song, ‘The World is a Rainbow.’ And some of the lyrics are, ‘It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.’”

This was one of the earliest memories of her love of art, she said.

“So I always wanted to kind of take that and make it into a piece of art because that really affected me, just singing that song over and over,” she said. “I wanted something that would kind of be the same message, but through art.” She then laughed: “And I can’t sing.”

Haywood, 37, spent pretty much her entire childhood in North Carolina, attending Piedmont Middle and then Myers Park High and then Appalachian State University in Boone. She then spent seven years in New York and four in Atlanta doing graphic design work before returning to the Charlotte area (Elizabeth) to be closer to her family during the pandemic.

She’s now a full-time muralist — “I think Charlotte has done a lot of work to give the art community more of a voice,” she said — and does some freelance graphic design work on the side. She has a huge mural on the side of Lenny Boy Brewing Company, and she’s working on another mural now at The Artisan Palate in NoDa.

The mural, Haywood said, is part of a series of “mini-face” paintings. The one on the course this weekend is the final (albeit partially cropped) result of finding faces and looks around the city that inspire her — and then blending spray paint and acrylic pen and latex house paint over the course of the month to have those images together.

Haywood said none of the faces are based on particularly famous people. And while that might be true, a few faces — at least to this writer’s eye — mightily resemble some local legends. (One of which is Dale Earnhardt Sr., with his patented sunglasses and smirk under a bushy mustache.)

“What we see in our outside world is gonna affect your internal views and vice versa, so if people are seeing images of everyone together, as kind of a harmonious whole and loving each other, then hopefully that will reflect inside people as well, and that will change how they act toward others and bring general happiness,” she said.

Murals at the Presidents Cup

The six ArtPop artists who have murals up at the Presidents Cup: Jodie McNeely, Celia Kulp, Liz Haywood, Ashley Proctor, David Bulfin and Monique Luck.