The forecast for the 91st annual Concord Christmas Parade called for 100% rain. We knew that it would be a challenge… but we built a roof on the float and persevered through the rain all-the-same.

Eight local artists — from a High School student to Art Teachers to local designers to semi-professional spray painters — gathered on a 32 foot trailer and each painted a 48″x68″ metal canvas as it rolled through 2 miles of Historic Concord, North Carolina on Saturday November 23rd.

The project is the brainchild of Concord artist and entrepreneur Kat Wyllie, creator of TuxedoKat Mobile Imaginarium. Kat’s vision was to connect with the community to discover eight local artists to “perform” their creative process in front of 40,000 folks in Concord’s biggest community event, the Concord Christmas Parade, in her beginning efforts of building a strong creative community in Historic Concord, North Carolina.

The Hands that Made It Happen

Connecting with three local companies, Kat was able to create and fund the #ConcordIsCreative parade float. Rite Lite Inc. is a custom fabrication and sign company that fabricated the custom metal canvases, supplied the trailer, and man power to build the float. Gibson Mill is a historic mill in Concord and housing the history of the entire area, provided the funding and permanent location for the metal canvases to hang. Finally, Liles Construction provided the installation of the metal canvases in Gibson Mill.

Custom Metal Canvases

The metal canvases are another of TuxedoKat’s ideas inspired by the huge demand for large wall murals in the surrounding cities. As Marketing Director of Rite Lite, Kat witnessed many developers turning down wall murals simply because it would permanently effect their building’s facade. These metal canvases can be painted and installed anywhere, interior or exterior, adding a solution to the damaging-facade issue and providing new options like different shaped-metal canvases with custom logos and texts cut into the canvas via CNC machine. Not to mention these metal canvases can be repainted and repainted, keeping the look fresh and providing more opportunities for more artists.

The Local Artists

TuxedoKat believes that creativity starts with the community… it is the people within that inspire the cauldron that is community creativity. Every citizen adds an ingredient to make the stew a much more immersive experience for all who are exposed to it. So let’s expose everyone to it! The more we show our community, the more inspiration is born in the eyes who see it. That is why #ConcordIsCreative.

Danielle Gaimari

Visual Arts Teacher at Cox Mill High School located in Concord, NC

Lo’Vonia Parks

Caricaturist & Illustrator from Charlotte, NC

Tim Sheaffer

Craftsman & Painter from Charlotte, NC

Ben Mirabelli

Art Teacher at Concord High School

F. Kernes

Contemporary Artist from Kannapolis, NC

Mack Dogg

Senior at Concord High School

Eric Wattinne

Visual Artist from Concord, NC

Caswell Turner

Artist, designer, and owner of Cicada Studios in Concord, NC

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