VIRGINIA BEACH – Did you know there are more public art murals per square block here than any other city in the United States?
Okay, well, that may or may not be true, but even if it’s not with the addition of 10 new wall murals this week during the ViBe District’s Mural Festival the total will top 150 artworks throughout the district, including 40 large wall murals.
“Our nonprofit board believes the Mural Festival, our signature event, is reshaping the culture and providing a new unique identify for Virginia Beach,” said Kate Pittman, executive director of the ViBe District.
As an example she recalled the time last fall when the ViBe District appeared on national television as a Jeopardy clue for the answer “Virginia Beach.”
Saturday there will be an Artist Talk at 1701, beginning at 2 p.m., and that will be followed at 3 p.m. by a public Block Party at Davis Ad Agency. That event will feature the Guava Jam Band, local spirits, face painting, yard games and art
And back by popular demand is the Instagram Challenge, Pittman said.
“It’s a fun and easy way to share amazing art with your friends. Pictures can be formal, altered or self-style. Anything goes,” Pittman said.
Anyone can enter to win, with first prize being a $100 gift card to a ViBe business of their choosing. Simply snap a photo of a favorite mural in the district, upload it, and tag @thevibecreativedistrict and #vibemuralfest.
Pittman said the ViBe works throughout the year to determine locations for walls and then contracts with the owners and businesses, who commit the wall space for two years.
An open call for muralists is released on the ViBe website, social media and via artist networks. After all the submissions are received the submitted images of artists’ work are put into a large presentation of more than 350 images and shared with the property owners, who pick their favorites.
Artists, she said, are given a lot of freedom and encouraged to be bold and share their best with the community. Final renderings are signed off on by the properties, Pittman, and City of Virginia Beach Zoning.
“Plan to spend most of the day here exploring,” Pittman said. “The district is a known hotspot for art and local food, so take a leisure stroll around and grab something delicious to eat.”