Artist and community organizer Gil Croy gave his creative heart and soul to Charlotte’s LGBT community. He volunteered with several organizations and his often interactive artwork always inspired both those who participated and viewers alike. If you never met Croy, you’ve likely seen his work, splashed on the side of White Rabbit on the highly trafficked Central Ave. thoroughfare or his fantastically decorated float for the One World Dragon Boat float in last year’s Bank of America Charlotte Pride Parade. The LGBT- and Pride-themed mural was created in the summer of 2012, just in time for visitors from across the nation and world to see it when the Democratic National Convention came rolling into town that September.

We took a few minutes to catch up with Croy, who now lives in Raleigh, to see what he’s up to today and reflect on a bit of his work in Charlotte.

Matt Comer: It’s been three years since you came up with the concept and painted the mural at White Rabbit. What has the feedback been like over the past few years?

Gil Croy: Feedback, even when we were doing mural, was fantastic. People loved the color and then exploration of our community, Jim [Yarbrough, owner of White Rabbit] was so great for allowing this to happen.

What kind of projects did you enjoy after the mural?

I have pursued others in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, plus working on other areas, six colors of pride is my pursuit.

I heard a lot about your Dragon Boat Charlotte Pride float theme. That was really fun! What was designing, building and costuming the float and its participants like?

Denise Bauer was so instrumental in the float. She helped during the mural and decided to pursue a larger LGBT presence in sports, especially in the dragon boat raises. She is such an inspiration. She has a vision for equality that I love.

When did you move up to Raleigh, what took you there and what kind of projects are you working on now?

I moved to Raleigh in February and did it for design work. I am working on several shows with the LGBT center here and still working on graphics that promote our community thru : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.