By Alan Hodgealan@cfmedia.info
Stanley mural artist Boyce McKinney has added another masterpiece to his already impressive list of local works.
The newest creation is a large replication of a vintage Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of a downtown Mt. Holly building at 123 N. Main.
McKinney estimates the original mural was done in the early to mid-1950s.
Former mayor Bobby Black and city planner Greg Beal, and the late Carol Golden helped get the ball rolling about a year ago for the project,” said McKinney.
Once the paperwork and permission got sorted, McKinney went at the project with his trademark enthusiasm and talent.
“It took about three and a half weeks to do the painting,” he said.
With its striking red and white vintage Coke logo and lad wearing a bottle cap for a hat, the mural gets plenty of notice in person and online.
“It has been very well received,” McKinney said. “It had 1,500 hits on the City of Mt. Holly facebook page.
The Coke creation isn’t McKinney’s first Mt. Holly mural. Just across the street at the Community Garden, another one he did last year beams forth with bright colors of flowers and the sun. That mural is like a beacon drawing folks to the garden.
Up in his hometown of Stanley, McKinney’s work is represented by a large mural along the whole side of the building at S. Main and W. Plum streets. The mural depicts a very real looking steam train pulling into Stanley. The mural is so lifelike that from a distance it’s hard to tell from the real thing.
McKinney created the work as a free gift to the Town of Stanley.
The work it took to carry out the Stanley project was very real, and challenging as well.
“I was on the Beautification Committee in 2009 and the idea came up to do the mural,” McKinney said. “I was working freelance at the time so I started the project that March.”
Before he began painting, McKinney did many weeks of research into what the mural would depict.
“The depot represents one that burned down in 1929,” he said. “The locomotive is a 1920s era Baldwin. I saw a photo of it in the Brevard Station Museum. It’s the type that would have come through town in that time period.”
The mural is painted with latex house paint donated by Lowes. McKinney mixed the colors so that they really pop. Trackside wildflowers in the mural and the red caboose stand out in bright contrast to the rich dark green of the locomotive and the lighter green of the passenger cars. Above the train and station, an azure sky and billowing white clouds are all depicted in detail.
“Everybody talks about how real it looks,” he said.
To do the two-year project, Boyce enlisted the help of his brother Joe. Together they climbed ladders and scaffolding, and endured all types of heat, cold, and rain.
Incidentally, Joe has his own mural claim to fame. He painted two murals in Cherryville. One shows the famous Cherryville New Years shooters and the other one has Cherryville landmark scenes and “Welcome to Cherryville” in large lettering.
The McKinneys have art in their blood.
“I won my first art contest when I was three-years-old,” Boyce said.
McKinney credits a local Stanley physician, Dr. Bailey Graham Weathers, and his East Gaston High art teacher Robert Moody, with helping develop and guide his artistic talent.
“They were a huge influence,” he said.
The Mt. Holly and Stanley murals are a big feather in McKinney’s cap, but he has a plethora of other professional artist credits to his name as well. Just a few include Art Director for Heritage USA, Scenic Designer for the dark ride in Hong Kong “Rise of the Dragon”. He also was Scenic Designer for the “Magnificent Adventure”, a motion-based simulator ride at the same location in Hong Kong, Assistant Art Director for E.T.’s Adventure Ride at Universal Studios Florida, Art Director for the Italian project “I Corsair, The Legend of Jason Montague” at a pirate-themed dark ride in Gardaland, Italy.
He was Senior Designer for Richard Crane Productions on the New Orlando Science Center, Paramount Parks as a Show/Set Designer. In 1998, he joined Paramount full time as the Scenic Construction Coordinator, and was Exhibits Director/Designer at Discovery Place in Charlotte.
McKinney also created the sets for the Easter cantata art his church, Stanley Pentecostal Holiness.
Now that the Coke mural is complete, McKinney is heading to Columbia, S.C. where he’s creating two murals at a school
McKinney, 62, shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to his mural work, he takes part in long distance charity motorcycle rides. He’s always looking for an artistic challenge, but draws the line when it comes t subject matter.
“I won’t paint naked ladies or demons,” he said.