The ViBe Arts District in Virginia Beach, has hosted a ton of awesome events so far this year, none more vivacious than the ViBe Mural Festival: 10 Murals in 10 Days. Over eighty applications came in and were narrowed down to 5 local artists from Hampton Roads, and 5 artists from around the country, as far away as California.
We were happy to host the five out-of-town artists at the Atrium Resort. The Atrium is three blocks from the beach, and walking distance to all of the murals and the whole of the ViBe Arts District. Most of the artists walked or road bikes to their mural locations, happily leaving their cars parked in the Atrium lot.
Meet the Artists:
“I believe that it is extremely important to ensure that the youth in our communities strive to become whatever they set their minds to.”
ARCY comes from Connecticut and does plenty of murals each season, enough to support his family. He told us that he does up to 75 murals in a season! He also does tons of Live Art events, spray painting works 8’ x 12’ in front of thousands of onlookers. If you check out his Instagram (@arcyart) you’ll notice work from previous events and commercial design from companies like Major League Baseball and Disney. At this year’s ViBe Mural Festival, Arcy created a stunning, spray paint work behind Wareing’s Gym — A top-down shot of a surfer in a neon splash of a wave. He completed it so quickly (2 Days) that he painted another wall, this time a portrait of the legendary, John Wareing. Both murals are incredible additions to the Wareing gym building and the surrounding community.
“A lot of my work reflects things that come out of Richmond. I fish a lot, I like railroads and old buildings. I painted graffiti for a long time – I feel like I pull a lot of my inspiration from all of those things, I try to boil it down and make it into art”
Caesar, from 1500 Studios, came from Richmond to create a street-art inspired “Virginia Beach” mural to become a new staple to our geo-targeted social media — #VirginiaBeach. Outside of the Chesapeake Bay Distillery, Caesar’s art depicts a wave nearly barreling over the colorful letters of our city’s name. He first gained interest in wall-painting with graffiti, he illegally painted his name in every fashion possible, on walls and freight trains all over the county; mastering letter design led him into the craft of sign painting, and now murals. Today, his murals have become staples in urban landscapes. Inspiring younger generations, Caesar told us how local kids helped him with one of the many layers of his design. Approaching from the surrounding neighborhood one eventing, he was happy to share an experience with them that they may not have had otherwise and allow them to be a part of something that is sure to be an iconic part of Virginia Beach!
Jeremiah Kille is the artist from the furthest away. He traveled from California to adorn the walls of 1701 – a Co-working space on 17th Street. With geometric designs and vibrant colors, it’s hard to miss his style. Inspired by nature, and having a background in building surfboards, his designs encompass a range of styles, patterns and colors. During the mural festival, all of the artists battled with the on-again/off-again rain, often forcing them to stop earlier than intended some days, and rain that wreaked havoc on their freshly painted creations. Jeremiah decided to incorporate that into his work, leaving rain streaks as part of the mural thus incorporating nature as an artistic element.
“My work wanders but ultimately comes back to the ocean, the mountains, natural vibrations from people and plants and the awe that overcomes me when I throw myself into these things.”
Tim is originally from Virginia Beach and spent his youth in surf shops and skateboarding; he now lives in Asheville where he’s a full-time artist and illustrator. While he admits his family still lives in the area, he was happy to stay close to where he was working; his mural is probably the closest to the Atrium resort only 3 blocks away on the wall of Three Ships Coffee. His painting is a depiction of the Powhatan chief looking through the bushes towards the ocean. He and Three Ships Coffee owner, Brad, wanted to play off the “Three Ships” theme but with a unique perspective. “I specifically told him, I don’t want to do any ships… but the fact that this is an ocean facing wall, I thought it would be cool to do Chief Powhatan looking through the bushes.”
“I present a storyline, using familiar imagery that conjugates with color, shape, energy, and rhythm, an image that grabs the viewer’s attention”
Ed Trask is no stranger to the Atrium! He admits he stayed there countless times over the years as he toured with various bands in which he was the drummer for. Now as a visual artist, he feels it has come full circle. His art is on the wall of the Davis Ad Agency on Baltic Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets. He incorporated ad moguls from various times in history, like Caroline Jones who was not only one of the first women in advertising, but a black woman who broke race and sex barriers in the 1960s. Ed’s art is colorful and interesting, adding an echo of advertising history to the building.
We interviewed all of the artists and saw them working! To see that video, watch below!