After a Wednesday night meeting of the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission, Dean Smith will remain larger-than-life in Chapel Hill.
At the meeting, the Public Arts Commission reviewed two gigantic murals on the windows of Tobacco Road — a local sports cafe located off of N.C. Highway 54 that opened in December.
The photographic murals, one of Dean Smith and one of Michael Jordan, stirred controversy after a neighbor complained to the town, said Brian Amra, the cafe’s owner.
The complaint prompted a review by the town about whether the murals were classified as signs or pieces of art to determine what guidelines they must follow.
Before reaching the Public Arts Commission, the issue was analyzed by the Chapel Hill Community Design Commission, which decided the murals did not violate any sign ordinances, said the arts commission’s board liaison, Jeffrey York.
Lisa Goldstein, the chairwoman of the Public Arts Commission, said courtesy reviews are normally completed by the council before the installation of art.
She said because the art has been determined not to violate any sign ordinances, the commission has no jurisdiction over the matter.
Amra said the images on the windows of Tobacco Road are not paintings, but rather iconic photographs from Getty Images — an image-licensing site — that have been pieced together on the different panes of glass.
Amra has similar images on the windows of his other Tobacco Road locations.