Paint the Pavement project still on hold due to shortage of paint

Published 12:01 am Friday, April 29, 2022

SALISBURY — Due to ongoing supply shortages with specialty paint, the city’s inaugural Paint the Pavement project continues to be indefinitely postponed.

The project is the result of a grassroots effort modeled from Charlotte’s project in 2017. A subcommittee of the Public Art Committee last spring selected five paintings from more than 30 submissions to be featured on five crosswalks within Salisbury’s Railwalk Arts District. Four are planned for the intersection of Kerr and Lee streets and one at the mid-block crossing on East Kerr Street next to Lee Street theatre.

The inaugural event was scheduled for July 2021 and then postponed until the spring of 2022 due to difficulties ordering the specialty paint needed. That same problem persists, says Urban Design Planner Alyssa Nelson, with a hope that it may be available for purchase this summer.

Nelson said the local Sherwin-Williams branch in Salisbury, located at 800 West Innes St., informed her that the needed paint would not be available until June despite the company requesting it every week and monitoring nearby locations.

Therefore, Nelson said the project has not been scheduled since the ability to receive the paint is not yet known.

Both Bloomberg and CNBC report paint shortages across the nation spanning over the last year, citing multiple factors such as supply chain issues because of the pandemic, climate change and labor shortages. Sherwin-Williams President and CEO John Morikis stated the same in the company’s third-quarter financial report of 2021.

“Demand remains strong across our pro-architectural and industrial end markets; however, results in the quarter were significantly impacted by ongoing and industry-wide raw material supply chain challenges,” Morikis said.

Morikis told Bloomberg in January that though demand is strong in 2022, raw material availability and pandemic-related issues would likely remain through the first quarter. He described the current raw material availability as “choppy.”

“Our team delivered results in line with our expectations in an environment characterized by strong demand, ongoing cost inflation and choppy raw material availability that improved meaningfully in the final weeks of the quarter,” he said.

The selected pieces for Salisbury’s project will feature colorful depictions of children, trees, vegetables, raised fists symbolizing unity and notable Salisbury locations like Bell Tower Green Park and the Salisbury Depot. The pieces “reflect the history, culture and vibrancy of Salisbury” and will use a variety of bright colors.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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