Latest Grove Cartel mural at odds with China Grove … again

Published 12:05 am Sunday, April 9, 2023

CHINA GROVE — The owner of the Grove Cartel Brewing Company made an impassioned plea to the China Grove Town Council to allow him to move forward with a mural on the side of his downtown business.

The mural features the face of Marilyn Monroe and, as of this past week, a 1950s-era car and the words “Pizza Beer Music” over the word “Meadows.”

Meadows at Grove Cartel is a restaurant on the second floor of the building.

Jason Overcash — file photo by Wayne Hinshaw, for the Salisbury Post

It’s not the first time that Grove Cartel Brewing Company owner Jason Overcash has run into resistance from China Grove town officials over a mural on his building. However, after his last run-in with China Grove, he felt the situation was settled.

“Last June, I was met with this same resistance,” Overcash said. “After previously submitting plans and drawings during the construction phase in September 2021, I was told that changes were currently being made to adapt to the current times and would be handled in October, which would allow the proposed drawing.”

Overcash indicated on Tuesday that he takes people at their word, so when he ran into resistance nine months later, he was surprised when he found out he was in violation.

The brewery owner took to social media to plead his case and successfully rounded up thousands of views, shares and supporting comments.

The issue was never with the mural on either side of the building but rather with the wording and lettering featured in each case. Still, after the first mural caused issues, the town council ultimately decided to alter the ordinance to allow lettering on murals as long as it’s the business’s name.

“We don’t want to be a stumbling block to keep them from being successful, and it looked very good, it was professionally done, and it added to the town,” China Grove Town Manager Ken Deal said at the time.

Having been told that the issue was resolved, Overcash was surprised when he recently went to obtain a sign or mural permit and was told it was not allowed.

“I was told that the issue had been resolved and that the ordinance would be amended immediately so that no one else had to deal with this,” Overcash said. “Ten months later, I find myself in the same situation with the same people and the same failed promises.”

During the meeting, the members of the town council indicated a willingness to work with Overcash and invited him to attend the next planning meeting to discuss the issue further.

The artist responsible for the latest mural was also behind the Grove Cartel’s original work. His name is Shane Pierce, also known as Abstract Dissent, and he is a Salisbury-based artist with numerous canvases around Rowan County and other areas.