WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Public Art Council voted to select a mural design by artist Silas Baker for Midtown Row after a bid process earlier this year.
Working with Midtown Row, Baker has been contracted by the City of Williamsburg to paint the mural on the exterior of the Food Lion at the Midtown Row Shopping Center.
Baker’s design, Papilio Glaucus, features the state insect, the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly. Baker worked as a tattoo artist for many years before deciding to pursue fine art and murals full-time in 2020. His artwork can be found all around the Hampton Roads area, including the interior of Precarious Beer Hall in Williamsburg.
“We are thrilled to partner with Midtown Row on this next phase of the Williamsburg mural project. Artist Silas Baker’s design celebrates our natural surroundings with brightness and color. This is an exciting step for advancing public art initiatives in the City of Williamsburg that inspire exploration and community engagement,” said Robert Currie, chair of the Williamsburg Public Art Council.
A second mural is planned for a larger wall alongside the Food Lion. Designs were submitted earlier this year; however, the WPAC has yet to reach a decision. The RFQ was reissued with updates, most notably including an increased budget. The submission deadline is Nov. 2.
Created in 2021, the Williamsburg Public Art Council is composed of nine members, including representatives from City boards and commissions and two community positions. As stated in the WPAC ordinance, exterior murals are only allowed for installation in the B-3 zoning district, also known as Midtown.
Through its public art program, the WPAC wishes to celebrate the City’s past, present, and future with public art; enhance the City’s identity and economic vitality by encouraging people to spend more time in the City engaged with public art, and highlight and enhance the beauty and the unique character of the City.
For additional information about the program, please visit the Williamsburg Public Arts Council page.