2018 Best Outdoor Space Improvement
Mount Airy, NC
The Whittling Wall is a public art project located on West Oak Street in downtown Mount Airy. It features eight brick sculptures of local icons who helped shape Mount Airy’s history and culture. Featured on the wall are: The Whittler, representing the history of the wall; Tommy Jarrell, a legendary fiddle player; Fred Cockerham, a renowned banjo player; Ralph Epperson, founder of radio station WPAQ Radio Station; Donna Fargo, a famous country singer and songwriter; L.H. Jones, a groundbreaking public educator for the African-American community; Flip Rees, a businessman who led the way in revitalizing downtown Mount Airy; and the Mill Worker, representing thousands of men and women that worked in the textile mills.
The Whittling Wall, created by sculptor Brad Spencer, tell the story of those who call Mount Airy home: artisans, musicians, educators, small business owners, and hard-working people. It also physically connects Main Street to the city’s west side redevelopment area.
The impact of this project, in addition to increased visibility, recognition, and social media pictures and posts, has been a $300,000 streetscape improvement project on nearby Market Street.