ROANOKE, Va. – A local artist is bringing color to the Roanoke River Greenway in Southeast Roanoke.
With support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Roanoke, the Roanoke Arts Commission is partnering with the Southeast Neighborhood, the two murals will be beneath the 9th Street bridge and the 13th Street Bridge.
“If there’s anywhere in the city that embodies diversity and community it is the Greenway. You see every age out here, every type of person out here, just enjoying the environment,” said Jon Murrill, the Roanoke artist selected to paint the murals.
“This particular mural and the others are going to have imagery from Southeast from Roanoke, there’s going to be some city grids that are put on there of the streets, so people can come up and say, ‘I live there, that’s my street,’” Murrill explained.
Murrill’s getting some help from the community, too – One of his goals is to tap into Southeast Roanoke’s volunteer and neighborhood improvement culture.
“He kind of shows us what to do, he outlines everything,” said Spence Robertson, one of the volunteers.
“Taking little brushes, thick brushes. I’ll teach certain techniques you can use. And you can come in, and apply little highlights, shadows, base layers, whatever you’re comfortable with,” said Murrill.
Another goal is to create a welcoming space and strengthen neighborhood gateways and so far, the response has been positive.
“Everybody’s complimented us on it, I have not heard one bad thing about it,” Robertson said.
“So many people have stopped and asked questions about the concept and what it might become,” Murrill said.
Right now, the concept is in its early stages, but for the finished product and the community pride in Southeast Roanoke, the future is bright.
You can learn more about Jon Murrill on his website or his Instagram page.