Murals provide unique and memorable public art to Main Street districts. As Lucy Meade, director of marketing and development for Venture Richmond stated to the Richmond Times Dispatch, “It’s fun for the community to have public art. Most people stumble upon (the murals), which is neat. It’s like a little gift around the corner.” Though rarely done in the numbers and at the scale to which Meade is referring to in Richmond (see Richmond Mural Project), many Virginia Main Street communities already have great public murals in their districts.
Staunton has a great block-long mural, tromp l’oeil style, of a man taking a blank wall and creating a building façade with his paint brush. In Martinsville, a parade of nearly life-size elephants marches down the street announcing the arrival of the circus to Martinsville. One of Warrenton’s most photographed murals commemorates the community’s civil war history. Luray has at least a dozen public murals scattered throughout its Main Street district. A soon-to-be completed mural commemorating the history of Abingdon, from settlers to the 20th century, will be the city’s first.
The newest public mural in the Virginia Main Street community was recently unveiled in Marion and is a mural with a mission. The mural is part of Marion’s new “buy local” campaign and proclaims, “Join the revolution. Shop local. Shop Marion.” The artist, who grew up in the area and now lives in New York City, is also providing designs for Marion’s “shop local” campaign by providing a full graphics package including logo, ad stock, banner design, poster design and window sticker design.