‘VB Strong’ art makes its debut in the Virginia Beach ViBe District

"Heartwave" by Parrish Majestic at Evofit in the Virginia Beach ViBe District. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of ViBe Creative District)
“Heartwave” by Parrish Majestic at Evofit in the Virginia Beach ViBe District. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of ViBe Creative District)

VIRGINIA BEACH — When artist, Parrish Majestic, heard a survivor of the May 31 mass shooting tragedy frequented Evofit gym in the ViBe Creative District, he said he knew it’d be the perfect location for his most recent VB Strong mural, “Heartwave.”

“The reason I paint is to cope with the reality that’s been given to me and I wanted this to be a coping mechanism for other people,” he said. “The design, plus my intent and the reason I paint are all reasons I wanted to do this.”

"Heartwave" by Parrish Majestic at Evofit in the Virginia Beach ViBe District. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of ViBe Creative District)
“Heartwave” by Parrish Majestic at Evofit in the Virginia Beach ViBe District. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of ViBe Creative District)

When he designed the piece in just 45 minutes, Majestic said he didn’t even recognize the 12 blue waves featured around a red heart could represent the 12 victims who died on May 31.

“Everything happens for a reason — I put a lot of good intent into my art so symbolic meanings tend to just come out of it,” he said.

For now, Majestic’s spray painted VB Strong “Heartwave” is one of the only May 31 commemorative murals in the ViBe District and Kate Pittman, a spokeswoman for the ViBe District, said they’re still working out the appropriate timing for a more permanent wall-sized mural.

Artist Sam Welty worked with nine others on “A Dozen Angels from the City by the Sea” which went up at the temporary memorial just days after the shooting but has since been collected for preservation with the other mementos.

RELATED STORY: Picking up the pieces: Here’s how the city is preparing to memorialize victims of the mass shooting

"A Dozen Angels from the City by the Sea" was designed by Sam Welty and painted by a collaboration of nine other local artists. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Sam Welty)
“A Dozen Angels from the City by the Sea” was designed by Sam Welty and painted by a collaboration of nine other local artists. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Sam Welty)

“[Welty’s mural] will probably get professionally installed in some sort of memorial in addition to the city’s plans, but I’m not sure when that’ll happen,” Pittman said.

Now that he knows people like “Heartwave,” Majestic said he plans to put at least six more heart waves up as an art series.

The ViBe Creative District is a nonprofit that works with the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, local creative businesses, and more than 150 artists to make public art pieces accessible 24 hours a day.

Learn more and find cataloged public artworks in their online mural map. 

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.