Alumna Makes Her Mark on Neighborhood with Unique Project

Liana Charles ’14 has found a unique way to bring her community together by creating an adult coloring wall in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C., called Make Your Mark.










Liana Charles ’14 (CIAS) has found a unique way to bring her community together — coloring.

The College of Imaging Arts and Sciences alumna, who is currently a packaging engineer with Newelle Brands, combined both her passions — design and community volunteerism — to create an adult coloring wall in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. Charles’ project is called Make Your Mark and since coming to her new home of Charlotte 10 months ago, she has done just that.

The adult coloring wall consists of three, large panels, one of which includes a map of the South End neighborhood, with the others composed of intricate designs lined with bottles — a nod to the breweries housed in the neighborhood. Participants use chalk to color in the designs, allowing for the look of the wall to change over time.

The idea to create a coloring wall came to Charles when she saw a call for grant applications from the Charlotte City Partners on Twitter asking residents to pitch projects to bring the South End Charlotte community together.

“I proposed my idea of an adult coloring book wall so that the community can help color in an image and it can be the community making up an art piece,” Charles said. “It is a way for people to add to the community and add to the vibrancy of South End Charlotte.”

The coloring wall is nestled among South End’s art galleries, as well as popular bars and eateries; an area ripe for an interactive display.

“People can come with their kids or their friends after work or happy hour. They can come together to fill in this image,” Charles said.

Charles, with help from friends, launched the project at the end of June and has already heard positive responses from residents.

“I didn’t quite realize the impact it would have on the community. Some people who have grown up there and have seen the area change were really touched by some of the words on the bottles that represent that area,” Charles said. “Some people came by just to thank us for adding to the community.”

Charles credits her time at RIT for helping to foster her passion for giving back to her community, as she was a resident advisor, peer advisor and involved with many student clubs and organizations.

And, although not quite certain what it will be, Charles has plans for more community-based projects.

“I’m hoping to do projects with high school seniors who are trying to decide what school to go to or what field to go into.”

If you would like to join Charles in making your mark, visit the adult coloring wall at The Charlotte Post building, located at Camden and South Tryon Streets.