Wilson Arts

We Built This: the exhibit.

Preservation of Wilson presents

We Built This: Profiles of Black Architects and Builders in North Carolina

1 September-31 October 2023

Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House & African-American Museum
1202 Hines Street SE
Wilson, NC 27893

This traveling exhibit, presented by Preservation North Carolina, highlights the stories of those who constructed and designed many of North Carolina’s most treasured historic sites. Spanning more than three centuries, We Built This provides more than two dozen personal profiles and historic context on key topics including slavery and Reconstruction; the founding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Black churches; Jim Crow and segregation; and the rise of Black politicians and professionals.

10 A.M.–3 P.M.
Free Admission

Big thanks to Preservation North Carolina and Wilson Arts for helping bring this exhibit to Wilson.


Don’t miss this fantastic exhibit! Wilson’s most notable African-American builders were Oliver Nestus Freeman and John Mack Barnes, but other early craftsmen included brickmasons like Julius F. Freeman Jr. and Benjamin A. Harris Sr., and carpenters like Julius F. Freeman Sr., Short W. Barnes, John R. Reid, Louis Thomas Sr.,

Call for mural artist.

Wilson Arts and The Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House and African American Museum invite muralists located in North Carolina to create a location-specific mural celebrating Wilson as a destination on the African American Music Trail of Eastern North Carolina.

The application deadline is 30 June 2023.

For complete details and to apply, visit https://artist.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=11987

This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.