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Mural #1: Clyde Jones/BLAST Software/1996

Updated: Apr 27

 


Mural #1:  Clyde Jones/Blast Software

 

In 1996 Tami Schwerin and I moved the BLAST software company to downtown Pittsboro.  We rented an abandoned Mediterranean restaurant on Salisbury St. from George—then owner of the Bread Shop next door. We moved a bunch of computers in and went to work.

 

Today the building is home to Julie Sezer’s Little Boho Valley, which is a vintage store.

 

Tami and I were friends with Clyde Jones, the famous “outsider artist” from Bynum.  He’d never done a mural.  Neither had we.  We had a big brick wall—and George didn’t object, so we turned it into a canvas for Clyde to use.


 



 

Sandy Stewart, founder of the Zen Center helped with the BLAST renovations and prepared the wall.  Elaine Chiosso jumped in with volunteers.



Photo by Jerry Markatos



Clyde Jones was extremely well known for his chain sawed “critters,” and his plywood cutouts, and his handiness with a paint brush.  His home in Bynum had become a tourist destination.

 

When the word got out that he was on the scaffolding, painting a mural with the help of school children in downtown Pittsboro, news crews flowed in from all over the state.

 

The Town of Pittsboro said it was not allowed.  That fueled the media fire.


Pittsboro got a mural.  BLAST, not even a mention.  We printed a “Greetings from Pittsboro” post card that we used for marketing purposes, but in general it was a lesson in botched public relations.




 

Twenty-eight years later, the mural has faded and been vandalized and needs to be replaced or restored.


Across the street is a temporary children’s art display on a Town of Pittsboro lot. Looks like a lot has changed in Pittsboro since 1996. Clyde Jones is still being quoted…




Post Script: After I published Murals of Pittsboro on the Plant's website, it stirred up a massive number of conversations. I've been updating, correcting and adding stuff all over the place. Jan and David Misenheimer found a copy of the Greetings from Pittsboro postcard that we published:





 

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