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  • Writer's pictureCentral Business District Group

Street Art Comes to Norwood

Last weekend, our town had the pleasure of welcoming Shane Pierce, or as he's better known online: Abstract Dissent, to brighten up the most traveled intersection in Norwood.

"This project has been a long time coming," says Robin Davis, the President of the Central Business District Group. "Everything just aligned to get [Shane] in here and we stepped up for the opportunity."

The Artist

From the perspective of small-town America, it's easy to look at Shane with his spray cans and tattoo sleeves and label him with an outdated stereotype.

You'd be very wrong.

An artist first, Shane has found himself as an ambassador of sorts, bringing fresh life into rural communities through aerosol artwork. He continues to work with local non-profit groups, school systems, and others; bringing compassion, understanding, and support to communities that may have been hesitant to invite change.

"I've been through so much myself," Shane says as he watches passing vehicles slow to admire his work. "It's just so easy for me to understand people and get along with everyone."

Whether he's describing the composition of his design, chatting with a fan who stopped by to watch him in action, or explaining the significance of a graffiti tag, one thing remains clear: this man bleeds art.

And his understanding of how art creates community is simply unmatched.

The Controversy

Locally, Shane has become most recognizable as "the guy from Locust who had to cover his art."

In this video, he explains how he was commissioned to paint a piece for a new brewery in

Locust, but the owner was forced to paint over it to be able to receive his occupancy permit and open the business.

They were told the murals were in violation of an ordinance that no one was able to find and when Shane asked to file for an art permit, he was informed that they did not have one.

Speculation and accusations continue to flow through social media channels, but the general consensus is that the Locust community is hoping to welcome Shane back as soon as possible.

The Mural

Shane and Robin met for a lengthy discussion before he was hired to paint in Norwood. She explained the importance of bringing our community together and the need to preserve our history with an eye toward the future.

The first concept drawings Shane sent were so close to the mark, you'd barely realize any changes were made. He saw the Central Business District Group's vision before they fully knew how to ask for it.

Now you'll see the corner of Main Street and PeeDee Avenue adorned with a nighttime lake scene, our iconic water tower, a tree in honor of our biggest festival, and of course, our crazy birds.

As the gateway to Lake Tillery, how can you ask for anything more?

The Future

This may not be the last Norwood sees of Abstract Dissent and it certainly will not be the last of artists livening up our town.

The Central Business District Group continues to work toward a complete art walk that will expand through the entirety of our downtown community.

To find out more about the future of art in Norwood, donate to a future mural, or get updates on new projects, visit the Central Business District Group's website here:

For more on Abstract Dissent and to keep up with his work, follow him on any of his social platforms, all of which you can find on his website here:

And if you missed out on watching Shane paint, we've got you covered! You can see a timelapse of the piece going up here:

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