About two hours away from Charlotte, deep in the country, lies Cameron, N.C., where Brooklyn artist David Ellis began painting these barns in his hometown back in 1999. In no time he had his artist friends hailing from as far away as Tokyo. I've driven the back way to Raleigh for years and have seen one barn but never took the time to investigate what all of these street art-laden, aging tobacco barns are actually all about until now. What I found was certain credence that North Carolina has unparalleled curiosities to offer literally everywhere.
This artist group dubbed themselves as Barnstormers! and the locations of the barns is near no towns, near no landmarks, and is definitely worth the trip. Here, immerse yourself:
More than a decade has gone by since Ellis and his comrades began painting these barns, but what still stands is just stunning. There's a great commentary to be made here about the things we leave behind and the beauty in their breakdown over time. Even when the medium collapses, the beauty still remains. That's true for art and especially in the case of these old barns. They were old before they even started having people painting on them.
The group has had some of the barns broken down piece by piece and re-assembled in The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C. The center played host to a few of the barns in 2004 when the group made this hypnotizing video:
Get out there and enjoy the town of Cameron by way of seeking out and seeing these tobacco barns. Windows down, banjo music and sunglasses on, you'll be enchanted by 'em.
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