A mural will be painted at Rudee Loop to honor the victims of the May 31 shooting

(Southside Daily/Courtesy of Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department)
(Southside Daily/Courtesy of Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department)

VIRGINIA BEACH – This city’s Cultural Affairs Department and the Strategic Growth Areas Office are hosting artists Sean Coffey and John Muldoon of The Coffey Shop studios from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to create a memorial mural to honor those lost in the May 31 Municipal Center mass shooting.

“Peace Doves” will be painted on the inner walls of The Loop at Rudee, a new community space at the Oceanfront on Thursday and Friday. The space is adjacent to 3rd Street and Atlantic Avenue, Cultural Affairs officials wrote in a news release.

The design was submitted last spring during the open call to artists and was selected as one of the finalists chosen for the outer Rudee wall mural and a runner up to Aimee Bruce’s “Prismatic Play.”

After hearing of the tragedy, Coffey and Muldoon reached out to the city offering to donate their mural, officials said.

The original design for the project was in reaction to a similar tragedy they personally experienced last year, only three blocks from their studio at a Jewish synagogue.

“‘Peace Doves,’ a play on origami birds and shadows, was created to show that communities can overcome anything if they work together, and to remind us all that there is light at the end of even the darkest tunnels,” said artist Sean Coffey. “I spent a lot of my childhood summers in Virginia Beach and was heartbroken seeing the recent tragedy, and would be honored to donate something in light of the event. Our thoughts and prayers are with your entire community as you endure through this struggle.”

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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.