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New City Arts and Charlottesville Mural Project Present New Mural in Crozet

The Charlottesville Mural Project (CMP) and New City Arts Initiative (NCAI) begin a mural in Crozet for the summer mural series, Paint & Poetry. Paint & Poetry is a public mural series that incorporates poetry into public art in the Charlottesville area. This mural series is part of an ongoing campaign to showcase the talents of artists and designers while creating a more interesting visual landscape in the city. 

Drawing inspiration from Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program (MAP) and similar initiatives, the Charlottesville Mural Project (CMP) features local artists and designers, partners with youth programs, youth communities, and local businesses, and produces at least two murals a year. New City Arts Initiative (NCAI) is a collaborative non-profit fostering engagement with the arts in the greater Charlottesville area. NCAI seeks partnerships with other institutions in Charlottesville to facilitate artistic endeavors that benefit artists and the city.

Partnering together for Paint & Poetry, CMP and NCAI are producing text-based murals in the Charlottesville area. Paint & Poetry support the vocation of artists, poets, and musicians by featuring their artwork in public spaces while beautifying the city we call home, Charlottesville, VA. Plans for the Paint & Poetry Project began in the fall of 2014. Throughout the last 10 months, CMP and NCAI cultivated community partners for this series, resulting in at least three murals organized for completion in Summer-Fall 2015, including sites at Charlottesville High School, a Crozet wall across from Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room, and The Graduate Hotel (on the UVa corner).

In Crozet, CMP and NCAI are working with Central-VA-based artist Duncan Robertson and Hurray for the Riff Raff on a mural across from the Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room. Illustrator Duncan Robertson is known for his editorial work, large-scale murals, and poster design. For this project, Robertson designed a mural that portrays musicians, the Claudius Crozet tunnel, and surrounding landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains. NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff's music "sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit.” The lyrics included in this mural are from her “Small Town Heroes" album opener "Blue Ridge Mountain,” an Appalachian nod to Maybelle Carter, a Virginia native. Starr Hill Brewery worked with Hurray for the Riff Raff to include lyrics that draw inspiration from the Blue Ridge Mountains and connect with our local heritage.

“This mural transforms a heavily trafficked industrial thoroughfare in Crozet into a cultural destination for our community,” says Maureen Brondyke of the New City Arts Initiative. “My favorite part is that while sitting in the Starr Hill Tap Room, you will be able to literally see the Blue Ridge Mountains over the lyrics, 'My Heart is a Blue Ridge Mountain.’ During the first few days of production this week, we’ve had many people stop to comment on how much they love the colorful transformation of the street. This new art landmark tells a story about where we live and renews a sense of pride in this place we call home.”

“The Charlottesville Mural Project and New City Arts have been incredible partners in creating a stunning piece of art that incorporates music and nature,” says Jack Goodall of Starr Hill Brewery. “Our neighbors and visitors to the Tap Room will now have a gorgeous view to enjoy while they sip on a fresh beer. We’re thrilled to be a part of this effort to beautify our community.”

Throughout the entire month of June, $1 from every pint of beer sold at Starr Hill will go to the Charlottesville Mural Project as a part of Starr Hill Brewery’s Cheers for Charity initiative. This Friday, June 12 from 5-8 PM, Starr Hill is hosting a Meet The Charity public event where the community is invited to meet the mural artist, add a brushstroke of color to the mural, and support the Charlottesville Mural Project at the Starr Hill Tap Room. Starr Hill will be tapping a special firkin of The Love Wheat Beer flavored with dates and rosemary, and the Bavarian Chef food truck will be serving up some delicious German fare.

A plaque on the mural will list the valuable partners of the Charlottesville Mural Project who have assisted from the beginning in making the projects efficient and affordable. Those sponsors include: The Fund at Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, Gropen, Blue Ridge Paint and Decorating, Piedmont Paint and Finish, and Benjamin Moore.

Additional murals in the Paint & Poetry series include a mural at Charlottesville High School (CHS) featuring a CHS poet and CHS artists, and a mural at The Graduate Hotel featuring former U.S. Poet Laureate and local poet, Rita Dove. CMP and NCAI are seeking an additional wall site for a mural designed by a local artist featuring poetry by U.S. Poet Laureate and local poet, Charles Wright.

For more information about this Friday’s Cheers for Charity “Meet The Charity” event at Starr Hill Brewery Tap Room, the Paint & Poetry mural in Crozet, and the Paint & Poetry mural series, please contact:

Maureen Brondyke
Executive Director | New City Arts Initiative

Ross McDermott
Director, Charlottesville Mural Project

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