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The Community Foundation Blog

Art and conversations for healing: Mending Walls RVA
By The Community Foundation / July 29, 2020
Art and conversations for healing: Mending Walls RVA

Photo by Nick Davis Photography

One of Richmond’s identifying features is the multitude of murals that decorate the city, telling stories with intriguing visuals that evoke a range of ideas and emotions in passersby. In the weeks since George Floyd’s murder and in alignment with the racial justice movement, a new public art project has begun, adding fresh murals to our cityscape in order to spark conversations that can lead to reconciliation and healing.

Mending Walls RVA is a public art project that pairs up artists of different backgrounds to create unique connections and give them an opportunity to tell their story collaboratively in an effort to express healing through connection. Each mural will include an opportunity for volunteers from the community to help the artists.

“In this moment we all are searching for more understanding, and this project will serve as a tool that would fuel connection through storytelling,” said Hamilton Glass, lead artist and project founder. “Our hope is to bring about healing through public art while adding something meaningful to the conversation of Black Lives Matter.”

Photo by Gianna Grace Photography

The project kicked off in mid-July with the first mural, a collaboration between Jowarnise Caston and Ian Hess, which can be seen at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture through September 7. Mending Walls will include a total of 16 murals, with a new one added each week on outdoor walls throughout Richmond.

“Intentionally collaborating with someone of a different culture and background for Mending Walls to convey the need for collaboration within our community necessitates that I get comfortable with getting uncomfortable,” Caston said.

“I’ve never embarked on a project that has drained me to my core as this one has,” Glass added. “The long days of planning, the vulnerable conversations, the passion and dedication that come from everyone who is working with me and believe in the mission is nothing short of amazing.”

Photo by Nick Davis Photography

The Community Foundation is pleased to be a supporting partner on the Mending Walls RVA public art project. In addition to providing financial and logistical resources, our commitment is to cultivate a community that is inspired and informed to take civic action – whether through gifts of time or voice. We will be coordinating volunteer opportunities for the public to participate in mural crafting through October, and we will be hosting a series of civic talks with the artists in the coming weeks and months.

Together, we are excited to explore the transformational impact of this project.

>> Sign up to volunteer

>> Read the feature story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch

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