Watch art come to life when the RVA Street Art Festival returns this week September 11-15 and illuminate our city’s unlimited creative capacity and the transformational power of public art. The festival will take place at the former GRTC depot where more than a dozen nationally prominent artists will work along side of two dozen of RVA’s best muralists to revitalize the property. The five day festival also includes sculpture, mixed media installations, Studio Two Three steamrolling prints and much more.
“This is such a unique and different festival that offers so many different forms of art and creativity in one place and shows the transformational power of public art,” noted artist Ed Trask, who created the festival along with Jon Baliles in 2012.
“We encourage people to come see the site in its’ rawest form during the week and then return on the weekend to watch color and creativity revitalize it before your very eyes,” said Baliles.
More than ten local and national sculpture exhibits will be ongoing on the site as sculptors create using bus parts and other materials found on site.
Keeping with the transportation theme and the history of the site, the University of Richmond and Valentine Museum’s Community will create a Gallery Trolley Project that showcases the history of America’s first trolley system.
A mixed media exhibit entitled “Driving Richmond” will feature portraits and stories from generations of GRTC drivers and how they have seen Richmond evolve over the decades from the drivers’ seat.
You will also be able to preview “Richmond Had Rails: A Documentary Film About The First Electric Streetcar” from award winning filmmaker Patrick Gregory and historian Harry Kollatz, Jr. The trolley service ran from 1888 until 1949 and evidence of the system remains visible around the city today.
Cyclists will be able to use an bike obstacle course and learn to ride in an urban environment (and test their skills), half pipes for bike tricks and boarders, and bike polo matches held by the group RideRichmond. RVA Rapid Transit will be on hand with exhibits and information about expanding a workable regional transit system.
The two man team “Camera Obscura” will build a box inside one of the dilapidated building’s and create a mini movie studio showing footage of Richmond that they have collected in visits this summer. Audiences will view the installation through a small hole on the outside of the building. The film projected in the dark space upside down and creates a wonderful trick on the eyes and brain.
The Light of Human Kindness exhibit developed by Patience Salgado is made up of small, touching stories of kindness contributed from Richmonders and their friends around the world. Everyone has been encouraged to share these stories on the Light of Human Kindness Tumblr account, which remains open for new stories.
Local artist Hamilton Glass created the mural for the exhibit and painted over each of these stories on the wall with his vision. Creative technologists from the Martin Agency also installed 1,000 LED lights onto the mural, and starting on September 9, every act of kindness submitted onto the Tumblr account will power-up an individual light in real time.
The Bizarre Market will be on hand Saturday and Sunday selling local crafts along with the Taste of Local craft beers. Food trucks will be on site each day for lunch and dinner.
Contributions to help fund the festival are still being collected and any donation made through September 16 will be matched by the generosity of two anonymous donors.
Wednesday September 11 – Sunday September 15
Site open daily 11am-6pm to watch muralists and sculptors and tour the site
Thursday, September 12
Artist Forum at The Byrd Theatre – 6:30-8:30pm ($1 entry to support Byrd Restoration Fund)
Friday, September 13
Mural sessions and sculpture 11am-6pm
4:00pm-6:00pm: Sound performance by Taylan Cihan, John Priestley, The Gennder Wayang Ensemble of Gamelan Raga Kusuma, and others. Located in the Paint and Body Gallery (Building 8).
5:30pm – Join historian/architect Ed Slipek for a tour of the site and its’ history as the home to the Virginia Trolley Company and GRTC
Saturday, September 14
Festival Day at the site with Bizarre Market, art activities for children, Studio Two Three Steamroller prints, bike obstacle course, Taste of Local drinks, and more. Mural sessions and sculpture 11am-6pm.
12noon-3:00pm – Studio Two Three Steamroller map prints of Richmond (seriously, using a steamroller)
2:00-4:00pm: Artist lecture tour of sculpture installations led by sculpture curator Vaughn Whitney Garland. Tour starts in Paint and Body Gallery (Building 8).
5:00-6:00pm: Sound Performance by Daren Kendall with his hanging piano wires installed in the Large Bus Barn (Building 8).
Sunday, September 15
Festival Day at the site with Bizarre Market, art activities for children, bike obstacle course, Taste of Local drinks, and more. Mural sessions and sculpture 11am-6pm.
5:00pm – Join historian/architect Ed Slipek for a tour of the site and its’ history as the home to the Virginia Trolley Company and GRTC
Shuttle service from Richmond Trolley Company will be available Saturday and Sunday from 11am-6pm from City Stadium.
Festival-goers are encouraged to visit the site via foot, bicycle, trolley, or GRTC using the 3 & 4 route that runs along Robinson St.