The NEON Festival in Downtown Norfolk’s NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) District will be held September 15 to 18.
The free festival welcomes everyone to experience the NEON District’s offerings through art exhibitions, local and national performances and mural tours.
The kick-off will start with the Chrysler Museum’s Third Thursday event on September 15 at the Museum starting at 5 p.m. and at the Glass Studio at 8 p.m. The Museum is celebrating the return of Norfolk native and Governor’s School for the Arts alum, artist Brian Bress, with his solo exhibition In the Box.
Festival events throughout the NEON District include:
- Glass Wheel Studio exhibition reception Friday, September 16, 7-10 p.m. featuring Gabriel Greenlaw and Emily MK
- Work | Release exhibition opening reception Friday, September 16, 5 p.m. for Between Further and Farther by Sarah Blood
- The Plot Beer Garden Friday, September 16, 5-9 p.m. with cold drinks, food trucks, live music and performances.
- Flip the Switch: Seep NFK, Friday, September 16, 9 p.m. official unveiling of neon art sculpture Seep NFK on 801 Granby Street
- d’Art Center fundraiser at The Plot Saturday, September 17, 5-9 p.m., featuring art activities, art by d’Art Center artists, live music, food and drink, including Smartmouth beer
- NEON Family Day at The Plot Sunday, September 18, 12-5 p.m. with puppets, storytelling, crafts, games and acoustic music from local bands
- Hunter at Sunrise live broadcast and Tidewater Arts Outreach Acoustic Brunch on Sunday, September 18 at Work | Release 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Project: Art Benches
Artists: Governor’s School for the Arts Students
Location: throughout the NEON District
To provide public seating and creatively enhance the NEON, Governor’s School for the Arts students painted six benches for sidewalks in the neighborhood. The City of Norfolk generously donated vintage benches from Town Point Park that were refurbished and painted by students Jeanelle Estanislao, Bethany Barto, Caillyn Jeffery, Sierra Delamarter, Olivia Brassingram and Zoe Migliozzi.
Project: The Dance
Artist: Amelia Langford
Location: 814 Granby Street, Norfolk
Richmond visual artist Amelia Langford is known for her nature-inspired black and white compositions. For her mural in Norfolk’s NEON District, she utilized the existing pale yellow paint on the wall to add a warm undertone to her striking design work.
Project: Green Machine
Artist: Hampton Boyer
Location: 795 Monticello Avenue, Norfolk
For his mural in the NEON, Hampton Boyer was inspired by his son’s love of monster trucks, but also the need to preserve the environment. His design features a solar-powered “Green Machine” and wagons promoting two aspects of the “green” movement, getting back to nature and recycling.
Project: Hats, Music and Technology
Artist: Clyde Santana
Location: Magazine Lane, Norfolk
Inspired by hat retailer Stark & Legum’s longstanding business in downtown Norfolk, artist Clyde Santana and Norfolk State University students created a mural that pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance, Cubism and men’s fashion throughout the twentieth century.
Project: Push It Real Good
Artist: Heidi Peelen
Location: 763 Granby Street, Norfolk
Push Comedy Theater collaborated with Glass Wheel Studio artist Heidi Peelen to create a mural celebrating their fun aesthetic and one of the historic Auto Row storefronts on Granby Street.
Artist: Heather Bryant
Location: 117 W. Olney Road, Norfolk
Reach promotes universal harmony between variant entities by depicting diverse characters with shared visual attributes that emphasize their common experience. Dots are scattered throughout the composition attempting to, and often, making contact. By connecting the dots we are woven into a patterned and interconnected existence. Sponsored by Virginia Furniture.
Project: Seep NFK
Artist: Erik L. Peterson
Location: 801 Granby Street, Norfolk
Chicago-based artist Erik L. Peterson is the creator of Seep NFK, a monumental pink neon ooze sculpture installed on the north side of 801 Granby Street. First seen in the inaugural exhibition at Work Release, Seep has been reconfigured for long term public view in Norfolk’s NEON District.
Project: Symbiotic Nuances
Artist: Solomon Isekeije
Location: 806 Granby Street, Norfolk
Artist and Norfolk State University professor Solomon Isekeije’s work is a dynamic collision of European and African motifs. This multi-figure composition draws inspiration from sources ranging from Nigerian textile patterns to traditional African masquerades with nods to the Cubist and Surrealist works of Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.
Project: Transparent Seas
Artist: Jason Levesque and Grow
Location: 745 Granby Street, Norfolk
Transparent Seas is an interactive mural that uses light and color to transform the artwork as its viewers pass by. Created in collaboration with renowned artist Jason Levesque, the 40’ installation is located in Norfolk’s NEON District, where color and light are brightening a once-overlooked neighborhood.
For a full list of art installations and entertainment, please visit here
The NEON Festival is presented by Business Consortium for Arts Support. It is produced by the Downtown Norfolk Council, Chrysler Museum of Art and Virginia Opera.