The history of this building is colorful, and Mural #2 will capture a snapshot of Carolina Beach. The building was once a busy bait shop used by locals and tourists. Prior, it was Robbie Johnson's surf shop (he began Surf Carolina Magazine and is a noted wildlife photographer). It is currently the Veggie Wagon Produce and Specialty Shop that services both visitors and locals.
Carla Garrison-Mattos is a full-time artist residing in Charlotte, NC. She has had a deep passion for art since early childhood. Her mother still has all of Carla’s drawings. Carla attended Winthrop University where she took every art class available, but stopped short of a degree when she decided to purchase an art gallery, the Green Rice Gallery in the heart of the Charlotte Arts District, at the age of 27. It was a glorious 3 years until the recession forced her to close her doors in 2010. This provided an opportunity to focus on her own art career. Carla launched Paintings & Things where she could create. First with pet portraitures and eventually moving from canvas to walls.
It was in 2010 that Carla met the woman who would become her wife and introduce her to Carolina Beach, which is why she is so excited to be able to share her art with the island. While dating, Carla was introduced to grandmother GiGi, as well as Aunts Rebecca and Gayle. GiGi had lived in the Carolina Beach area for many years where she took her daily walks. She volunteered at local bookstores, was on many committees, and was well known and loved. About 5 years ago, GiGi moved to Southport to live with her daughter. GiGi passed a year ago, but her memory lives on in the CB home. Carla and her wife are in the process of purchasing that home to ensure future family beach vacations and the hope to someday settle in what she considers one of the most beautiful spots of the world. GiGi gifted Carla a book on the history of Carolina Beach, which Carla cherishes, not only for its historical significance, but for the sense of calm and peace it brings. Carla is excited to have the opportunity to add to the island’s beauty.
The concept for Mural #2 "Surf & See" represents a celebration of the photography of Robbie Johnson, both his surf and his wildlife subject matter. The artist uses the camera lens as the center of the design with a play on fisheye and fisheye imagery. One of Robbie Johnson’s surf photos is used as the subject being photographed. After looking through his photo collection, a photo of a crane peeking up through the beach grass caught Carla’s attention and she incorporated it as a spectator of sorts. A wave behind the entire design adds a pop of color and texture and provides a glimpse of Carolina Beach’s iconic coastline.
The location for mural #2 is the side of Veggie Wagon located on 608 Lake Park Blvd S, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.
Mural #2 was installed at the end of October 2020.