If you love street art, then you need to devote a weekend to visiting Richmond, Virginia. While it is famous for its Gothic Revival mansions and craft breweries, Richmond is also an outdoor art museum. Gaze up at sky-high murals painted on brick buildings.
“With art that’s as big as the buildings they’re painted on, Richmond is known for its murals.”www.visitrichmondva.com
According to the travel bureau, Bella Magazine just named Richmond as the city with the best street art in the country. You can download a map to see murals on N. Belmont Avenue, W. Cary Street, Main Street, and more.
There is also a guide to the Mending Walls RVA, which includes “It’s Time For A Change,” “Finding Tomorrow,” and “African American Gothic.”
I created my own self-guided street art tour in 2022. With iPhone in hand, I stepped outside my AirBnb and roamed block after block of Richmond streets.
RVA Street Art Festival
You should also watch for citywide street art events. In 2012, people flocked to the first RVA Street Art Festival. Billed as “watching art come to live,” the festival showcased local and national artists. Listen to Ed Trask, Co-Founder, RVA Street Art Fest describe the mission.
“We have a massive pool of great talent in Richmond.”RVA Street Art Festival
Ten years later, the festival is still going strong. The 2022 RVA Street Art Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary. The event supports youth art education through community-based events, including Art 180, Art on Wheels, Studio 23, and Richmond public schools.
Art 180 provides young people “the freedom to express themselves creatively and transform our community with their artwork, stories, and lives.
Studio 23 is a community arts space. The center offers studios, classes and workshops, artist residency, and open doors. “We provide 24/7 access to printing presses, darkroom, digital lab, communal workspace, and individual studios to support art making for personal and social change.”
It also revitalizes parts of the city “in need of creativity and love.” In 2012, the Haxall Canal Power Plant hosted its first festival. “The original festival produced giant murals from some of street art’s biggest names like Pose, Hense, Jeff Soto, and others,” according to the festival.
In fact, most of the original muralists have roots because they had “Richmond connections” or lived there.)
There have been multiple editions of the RVA Street Art Festival staged throughout the city, including GRTC Bus Depot (2013), Manchester Silos (2016), and The Diamond (2017).
If time permits, take the Amtrak and make a stop in the nation’s capital. Washington, DC showcases its street art in DC neighborhoods, including U Street Corridor. Don’t miss the new Amanda Gorman mural in Dupont Circle.