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BYH, have the courage to be disliked....

Giant rabbit to disappear to make way for new mural downtown

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People walk by "Hurry," a mural of a rabbit at the corner of Evans and Fifth Street downtown on Oct. 24, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Kim Grizzard
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Want one last look at or one more selfie with the giant rabbit at Fifth and Evans streets? Better hurry.

The mural, titled “Hurry,” is coming down next week to make way for a new Five Points Archway Public Art Project installment. Weather permitting, the 20-foot-tall hare will be replaced Monday.

“We knew that this would be every three years,” said Holly Garriott, executive director of Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge. “We're really sad to see the rabbit hop away, but we're really excited about this new mural and hope that the community will be just as excited.”

Created by East Carolina University School of Art and Design graduate Alice Holleman, the mural has been displayed on the side of Starlight Cafe since 2015.

“People have fallen in love with it,” Garriott said of the work, which was chosen from dozens of entries submitted following a national search. “The rabbit will live on through photos and through merchandise that we have (T-shirts, coffee mugs and prints).”

“Hurry,” was a bold selection designed to symbolize focus and tenacity.

“Image wise, as far as public art and creative place-making go, we knew we wanted an image that was really unique and that really created this sense of place and destination,” Garriott said. “Now people say, 'Oh, go to the rabbit downtown.'

“It really had that wow factor,” she said. “But (it) definitely was a unique image that could, in a way, brand the Uptown District.”

The identity of the new artist is being kept under wraps until next week, though not literally.

“Everybody will see it on Monday,” Garriott said of the new mural being installed. “Just the scale of it, we can't keep it under wraps.”

An unveiling ceremony for the Five Points Archway Public Art Project is scheduled for 4:30-5:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Starlight Cafe, 104 W. Fifth St. The artist will speak at 4:45 p.m. The First Friday Artwalk and Freeboot Friday will be held from 5-8 p.m.

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