Art & Design

Special Acknowledgement

Painting By Shirl Hull

The painting featured on our channel was commissioned by local artist Shirl Hull. Originally from NY, Shirl Hull is an artist and designer specializing in jewelry design, lost wax casting and jewelry fabrication. Shirl has been the recipient of several entrepreneurial awards and her work has appeared in Essence magazine. Since relocating to Rowan County, she has exhibited works at Pottery 101 and has taught a wide variety of Art classes and workshops in the nationally accredited Waterworks Visual Arts Center.

About the Art

The direct inspiration for my painting, was the personal stories of three participants of the, Here’s My Story project. I reflected on each, connecting their emotions and feelings to my own story.  Although different experiences were expressed, three words inspired me and ultimately connected the stories …Unity, Strength and Tribulation.

In my brushstrokes there is unity. I found a harmonious rhythm in the energetic and repetitive strokes. The colors evoke power and represent strength. They draw you in, capture your attention and stimulate your senses. My brushstroke also explodes into strength. That is where I depart in color and direction, wrapping around and embracing the traditional Adinkra symbols; making it impossible to deny their importance. The upper symbol represents “strength”, the lower symbol – “unity”. I chose to introduce the symbols for their cultural and ancestral significance to people of the African Diaspora, who show strength despite the unrelenting tribulation of our shared experiences and who long for unity, above all else.

These elements along with the more intuitive and abstract quality of my painting creates a synergy of feelings and emotions which engages you, inspiring strength and unity through tribulation.

Here’s My Story is a living project and stories will rotate periodically. If you have been historically marginalized and have a connection to Rowan County, North Carolina, we would love to hear from you! To share your story, or to learn more about this project please contact the Art + Design Department at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College by emailing

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*Disclaimer: All stories collected through the Here’s My Story project reflect each individual storyteller’s personal recollection of events over time. As such, all opinions expressed are personal opinions and do not directly reflect those of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College or their affiliates.