VIRGINIA BEACH — A mural at Rudee Walk has just been named one of the 50 most compelling public artworks from across the nation and beyond by American for the Arts Public Art Network.
The artist, Giuseppe Percivati (Pepe Gaka), is an Italian street artist based in the U.S. and Philippines, according to a description provided on the Americans for the Arts website.
He comes from a family of artists, his uncle and grandfather being painters, and father and sister musicians.
His work can be seen in Italy, U.K., Japan, Pakistan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.
The description of his artwork provided is as follows:
“Seashore Cathedral” is a series of murals that utilize a geometric style, giving the impression of stained glass.
Each column features detailed vignettes that represent different aspects of the area that make Virginia Beach unique.”
In the artist’s words, “I want to create the idea that the whole underpass, in the area of the columns, is made of stained glass, giving lightness and brightness to the atmosphere.”
On the back wall, Pepe pays homage to Paul DiPasquqle’s iconic statue, “King Neptune” that can be seen at the 31st Street Neptune Park at the Oceanfront.
The dynamic artwork that embodies the spirit of Virginia Beach and the activities of the Rudee Inlet can be seen on the underpass columns of the Rudee Walkway that connects the marina to 4th Street municipal lot, officials said.
To encourage private development to move forward, the Rudee Inlet Connector Walk Capital Improvement Plan project was created to connect Rudee Inlet to the Oceanfront. This is identified as a top 10 priority project in the RASAP, said the project description on the website.
The Rudee Connector Walk project includes a 10-foot wide concrete walkway constructed from Winston Salem Avenue, under the Rudee Inlet Bridge, to the 4th Street parking lot, according to the website.
Completed in Fall 2014, the project has improved the mobility and safety of pedestrians and cyclists by providing a lighted, direct linkage from the Marina district to the Oceanfront.
The project also provides infrastructure improvement for a future water taxi launch to serve Rudee Inlet, complements the proposed bus stop improvements planned for Rudee Loop, and optimizes usage of the 4th Street parking lot, according to the website.
To view more of the public artworks that made the list, click here.