Paint in a pandemic: ViBe Creative District holds 3rd Annual Mural Festival

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The coronavirus pandemic canceled many events, but the ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach is still celebrating art.

Friday kicked off the district’s 3rd Annual Mural Festival, which was postponed from May due to COVID-19.

Ten artists have 10 days to put their creations on the walls of local businesses.

“This mural festival is really a gift to the community,” said Kate Pittman, executive director of the ViBe Creative District.

Mural artists tell 10 on Your Side that painting in a pandemic is a great form of self-expression.

Artist Brianna Cole said, “I’ve never had an opportunity this big, so I’m really excited to get into it and I’m really thankful to the ViBe Creative District for choosing me.”

It’s a way to beautify the community and spread positivity.

Artist Marleigh Culver said, “It’s been hard to connect with people so this is my chance to do so during the pandemic and I’m really grateful for that. I think art is such a gift for everybody and its something that everyone can enjoy.”

The festival is also a way to support artists, many of whom didn’t have any paying gigs during the pandemic.

“Our nonprofit is deeply committed to supporting these local businesses and these local artisans in any way that we can,” said Pittman.

Plus, enjoying art outside is great for social distancing.

Pittman said, “All 10 of the murals are spread out all around the district. We’ve got a great downloadable walking map, a digital map that people can pick up on their phone and come tour around.”

“It’s awesome, I’m so excited,” said artist Ruby Starcher, who is the youngest artist at age 17. “I can’t wait for it to be finished and everyone to see it and take pictures and stuff.”

This year’s mural festival will last for 10 days, but all of the murals will be up for at least two years.

For information on how to see the new murals, as well as the other existing ones, click here.

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