The ViBe Creative District announced today that three new temporary murals have been added to the creative arts district in the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Three local college students recently painted the new artworks last week, all themed to highlight the arts role in “Building A Better Community” located on 17th Street, 19th Street and Cypress Avenue.
In early July, the ViBe Creative District nonprofit announced it was seeking 3 young artists, ages 18-22, to complete 3 different temporary wall murals within the arts district. The artists were challenged to design a concept that included the words “Building A Better Community” and referenced projects currently underway in the district— including road infrastructure, an urban garden tour and redevelopment or local architecture. All three of the artists selected reside in Virginia Beach and are students at Tidewater Community College, Virginia Wesleyan College and the University of Pennsylvania.
The idea for this project was born from the district’s small business community and concerns about the current cumbersome infrastructure projects on 19th Street. “One of our business leaders suggested that we put up positive signage like the kind you see when driving through construction on the highway,” said ViBe executive director Kate Pittman. “When people drive through the district right now, they see a lot of road debris, orange cones and heavy machinery, which can be off-putting. We want to remind them that they are also seeing significant progress as we work with the City of Virginia Beach to build a dynamic, cultural neighborhood.”
The selected artists were mentored by local mural artist Victoria Weiss / aka Butterpop Art who has created murals in Virginia Beach’s ViBe District, Norfolk’s NEON District and who was also one of the 12 featured artist in Pharrell’s inaugural Something in the Water 2019 Art Walk. The college artists toured Weiss’ Virginia Beach artwork at The Atlantic, Esoteric and Virginia MOCA, where Weiss’ SITW temporary mural still remains following an overview about the ViBe nonprofit’s role in Virginia Beach since 2015. The temporary walls used for this project were repurposed from the Something in the Water event and relocated into the ViBe District for the purposes of new mural artwork. The structures were designed and built locally by Altruistic Design, Lynch Mykins, and Spacemakers.
This mentorship opportunity included meeting with the experienced professional artist and talking about: designing for calls for artwork, competitive bidding versus commissioned work opportunities, working outdoors in the elements, creating larger works in a short time frame and creating a sense of place through art. “I’m very driven and passionate about painting murals and love to inspire younger female artists the empowering possibilities of public art for themselves and the community,” said local artist Victoria Weiss. Weiss added said she was most impressed by the college students “calmness, listening skills, independence, humbleness and trust in themselves were all very impressive. I felt their love for the community and that meant a lot.”
The intent for this project was to provide a paid learning opportunity as a resume and portfolio builder for the young artists. Pittman and Weiss offered a mini tutorial about public art and community building projects prior to the students’ creating their artwork onsite around ViBe. Each college student was paid $500 plus supplies to paint the 8 foot by 12 foot mural. This project is supported by a grant from the City of Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Office.
Meet the Muralists:
Olivia Hudson is a student at TCC and will be graduating this December. She took AP art history and studio art at First Colonial high school. Olivia’s art will be on the catalog cover and shirts for this year’s Montpelier Sheep Dog Trials and Fiber Festival in October. This was Olivia’s first mural. Currently she is working for a carpenter/cabinet maker.
“I’ve learned to be more comfortable with people spontaneously coming up and wanting to ask questions,” said Olivia. “I’m surprised how much I enjoyed meeting people and seeing how much they liked seeing what we were doing. I really enjoyed the opportunity.”
Janna Goliff has lived in Virginia Beach for eighteen years. She graduated from the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School, and currently attends the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has a strong passion for STEAM – the integration of art with the traditional STEM fields, and believes that art has a role in nearly every facet of life.
“This experience gave me the
opportunity to work on a project that was
self-driven; I loved being
to make decisions about the piece and
never thought I would get to have
so much input for a project like this before. I also
learned more about the role
public art has in
Virginia Beach,” said Janna. “It strengthens
a sense of community identity and allows for people
to have valuable, shared experiences.”
Ja’lisa Yates grew up in Virginia Beach for the last 15 years. She graduated from Landstown High School and transferred her interest in studio art to Virginia Wesleyan in 2015. Ja’lisa recently received the Bachelor of Arts from this university. She has experienced with murals and public art, but this is her first solo project. Ja’lisa’s art style is digital art in which she incorporates traditional techniques such as painting and drawing in using the technology including the pen and tablet, and the VR to create a variety of illustrations from portraits to landscape.
“I believe that public art in any form or style benefits every aspect of the community by helping raise awareness to local businesses, social work, environmental issues, education and more,” said Ja’Lisa. “I’m excited to see how the message and the design itself gives off the positive outlook about the community and the people living there and how the display allow access for everyone to see the art.”
About the ViBe Creative District Nonprofit:
The ViBe Creative District nonprofit is a 501c3 that exists to promote, support, connect, and inspire the creative industries to boost our local economy, grow jobs, and enhance our quality of life. It works to create and revive economic vibrancy in our neighborhood with a remarkable local vibe. Additionally, ViBe strives to enhance a place of discovery for locals and visitors along with economic vitality to meet the City of Virginia Beach’s vision for a quality resort destination. For more information on us please visit www.ViBeCreativeDistrict.org, email info@ViBeCreativeDistrict.org, call 757-202-9533, or follow ViBe Creative District on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ViBeCreativeDistrict and Instagram at www.instagram.com/thevibecreativedistrict/