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Art Along Blount Street: Harrison Public Library

Artist: Joyce Watkins King

About the artwork:
“Coming from a small town myself—Oxford, North Carolina, where there were few cultural events, museums, etc.—the public library was the place that fed my soul. A good library is an extremely important resource for any community and the Harrison Library was no exception. Mollie Huston Lee was the first African American librarian in Wake County, the library’s founder, and a UNESCO library delegate who helped build the library’s large collection of fiction, serials and files, and a special collection chronicling the African American experience both locally and nationally. The library was named for Richard Berry Harrison, the son of fugitive slaves who was born in Ontario, Canada in 1864. I created the banner using historical photographs of these two important people and stitched them together with images of colorful borders of books on a shelf.”

About the artist:
Born and raised in Oxford, North Carolina, Joyce Watkins King made Raleigh her home in 1975 when she accepted a full scholarship to the College of Design at NC State University. She has devoted most of her professional life to work in marketing, graphic design, the arts, and development for nonprofit organizations. Since 1993 her designs have been recognized with 12 regional and 36 national design awards. She holds degrees in environmental design, visual design/product design, a minor in textiles, an MS in management, and CFRE licensing. Joyce is a fellow of the Vermont Studio Center, the Hambidge Center in Georgia and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has also taken courses at Penland School in metalsmithing, photojournalism, printmaking, mixed media painting, encaustic, and public art.


Harrison Public Library
Harrison Public Library Source: Raleigh Arts Commission Creator: Joyce Watkins King



CORAC, “Art Along Blount Street: Harrison Public Library,” Raleigh Historic, accessed April 15, 2024,