Sunday, December 4, 2022

Creative crosswalks offer opportunity for budding artists

VIRGINIA BEACH — Aspiring artists who want their masterpiece to be seen by millions and to live on forever will have a chance to see their dreams fulfilled next weekend.

Well, sort of.

On Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Parks Avenue intersections with 21st and 22nd streets, the ViBe Creative District will host the painting of three crosswalks at those junctures and they’re inviting the public to come and take part in their creations.

“This is what makes the events so fun,” said Kate Pittman, executive director of the Vibe Creative District. “The public is welcome to participate. All ages are welcome and no experience is needed.”

Pittman said the crosswalks have already been designed by three area artists, who will prepare the crosswalks for painting prior to the public arriving. In essence, it will be a giant “paint by numbers” exercise. Residents who take part will be offered gloves, and should dress appropriately for kneeling and painting on the roadway.

While the finished products will certainly be attractive and beautiful, that’s not all the crosswalks are intended to do.

“These public artworks create a sense of place, and of arrival within the arts district,” Pittman said. “This location was selected to highlight the western boundary of the district, which also acts as a gateway to oceanfront traffic to and from Interstate 264.”

The artists, Mensay Bay, a native of Richmond who is pursuing a MFA at Norfolk State; Devon Miller, a graphic designer in Virginia Beach; and Christopher Kozak, an art teacher in Suffolk, will all attend the event and assist the public with their painting efforts.

The artists submitted their winning designs last year during a Call for Artists.

Pittman said this is the fifth artist led, community created, crosswalk event in the ViBe District since 2016, and it will bring the total number of creative crosswalks to seven. Two exist at 18th Street and Cypress; one at 19th Street and Cypress; and one at 19th and Mediterranean.

Free parking will be available at The Runnymede Corporation, 2101 Parks Avenue, which is accessible from both 21st and 22nd streets.

The Virginia Beach Visitor Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and participants will be allowed to use their restrooms, vending machines, and access the agency’s local informational resources.

A map showing all of the ViBe District’s artistic creations, which Pittman said has been viewed nearly 10,000 times, can be found online. It offers photos, locations, and additional details about the various works of art.

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