For three weeks beginning in October, Nurkin has taken an unnoticed wall on the outside of the Aquarium and turned it into a breathtaking masterpiece. A mural along the conservatory wall in the Aquarium’s garden features a marsh theme, including a blue heron wading in the water and pelicans flying overhead. This masterpiece allows visitors to take a walk through a treasured habitat without actually stepping foot in a marsh. Soon the mural will set the mood for children to play in the natural playground that will be located in front of the artwork.
Nurkin, who was trained in classical painting at the Lorenzo di Medici School in Florence, Italy, credits his talents to Michael Brown, a Chapel Hill muralist whom Nurkin interned with for four years after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio painting and drawing. Nurkin says he has been painting and drawing since he can remember, and has always known art would be a major aspect of his life. In 2004 Nurkin created his company, Nurkin Arts, which provides several areas of art-related services, including murals.
Nurkin credits the environment surrounding the Aquarium as his inspiration for the awe-inspiring mural. Nurkin’s largest muse came after his visit to the salt marsh near the Aquarium. He says, “If the temperature and timing is right, everything in the mural could literally be found within a five mile radius of the Aquarium.”