Neighborhood Markers mural unveiling slated for Mother’s Day

Teens and adults assisted in the "paint-by-number" process to create the 63-foot-long mural designed by Natalia Pilato, art education director and assistant professor in ODU's Department of Art, and her students with community input. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of ODU)
Teens and adults assisted in the “paint-by-number” process to create the 63-foot-long mural designed by Natalia Pilato, art education director and assistant professor in ODU’s Department of Art, and her students with community input. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of ODU)

The unveiling of the Neighborhood Markers community mural, a large-scale public art project spearheaded by the Art Department at Old Dominion University and the NEON District, for the Young Terrace neighborhood in Norfolk will be on Mother’s Day, May 12, from 2-4 p.m. at the CHKD Thrift Store, 795 Monticello Ave.

Local teens and adults assisted in the “paint-by-number” process to create a 63-foot-long mural. It was designed by Natalia Pilato, art education program director and assistant professor in the Department of Art, and her ODU students with community input.

The 1,500-square-foot artwork, which will be on the Thrift Store’s exterior wall, represents community unity and celebrates neighborhood youths.

“We have had over 300 painting visits over the past nine weeks,” Pilato said.

Along with public speakers, the event will include a DJ, children’s art activities, a bouncy house, flowers for mothers, face painting, prizes and free food, most of which was donated by businesses in the community.

Students from the ODU Arts and Art Education program and the Humanities Visual Studies program began the Neighborhood Markers project in January by surveying community members within a half-mile radius of the mural site to seek input for design content and concepts.

Students enrolled in Pilato’s elementary art methods course also worked with K-2 children at P.B. Young Elementary School in Norfolk to incorporate art by the children featuring “sky, sea, transportation and home.”

The ODU students created designs for the mural based on that input and their own elements.

Pilato incorporated some of those ideas to make the final digital design that was traced onto the panels that students and participants painted.

The panels became part of a large grid used to create the permanent project. The installation of the mural began in late April.

Other partners in Neighborhood Markers include:

  • Downtown Norfolk Council
  • P.B. Young Elementary School
  • Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority
  • Young Terrace Community Center
  • Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

For more information on Neighborhood Markers, follow along:

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.