Beautiful Ink

In Buzz, September 2016 by Alexandra DrosuLeave a Comment

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Kelsey Montague only spent a weekend in Raleigh but, like in most cities she visits, she left a big piece of herself behind.  The internationally known street artist and author created a pen and ink mural on the bottom tier of Overlook Park next to The Cowfish at North Hills.  The mural, inspired by North Carolina, depicts an oak tree with hidden imagery of acorns, bikes and cardinals.  The wall is an interactive photo opportunity for visitors to become part of the living work of art. And, of course, she hopes you will share your experience online in a way that inspires others.

Montague grew up surrounded and inspired by art with an artist mother and grandfather.  She remembers drawing her dad’s profile at age 5 and never being without a pen to draw after that. After studying art in Florence and graduating from Richmond University in London, she made New York City home launching the #WhatLiftsYou campaign.KelseyMontague-Taylor-Swift

“It is about giving people the opportunity to become a living work of art and posting what inspires them in the global “What Lifts You” hashtag,” says Montague. She harnessed the power of social media to create an uplifting interactive art with a little help from Taylor Swift.

After the performer posed in front of Montague’s “wings” mural in New York City the subsequent 901,000 likes over 100 weeks was life changing.  “The celebrity engagement with Taylor, Vanessa Hudgens was a game changer – I know we would have gotten here but it would have taken a lot longer,” says Montague.

Each mural is unique and filled with images that represent the community and/or brand she’s working with. Some of her favorites include her first pair of wings in Auckland and her largest wings unveiled this spring in Nashville, Tennessee (23 ft by 16 ft).

What’s next?  She left Raleigh for Fairfax, Virginia to create a two-story giraffe that appears to be kissing you on top of your head. And she’s got plenty of ideas to keep her going. She dreams: “Create art in cities like Monaco, Jerusalem, Peru, Dubai and Tokyo. Be a part of a Mars colonization project, work with Beyoncé on a video and do something cool with The Pope.”

After spending time with her, we have no doubt she will complete her bucket list.

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