Thursday, April 14, 2016

Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton

Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts

Last summer, Ian MacRae, who owns E-N Computer in Waynesboro, organized The Virginia Street Arts Festival, bringing together about a dozen artists from all over Virginia and Washington D.C. to decorate the industrial building that houses his IT business.  When I heard about it (ironically from Mickael Broth when I met him in Richmond) I decided to hunt down public art in the Shenandoah Valley area like I did last year in Richmond.


Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts
305 E. Main Street Murals signed Nancy Cougar Crane (I think?)
I thought I would start by sharing some of the older murals in Waynesboro. This place on Main Street was the first thing I remember noticing about this town the first time I visited.  It's been a restaurant, a nightclub (Club Caribe, qué escándalo!), and most recently the headquarters of the Hollaback and Restore Project. The building is covered in butterflies and tropical plants and the light posts in the parking lot are hot pink.  I kind of wish I could live there.  It's currently for sale.  Just sayin'.
Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts

Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts

Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts
"Gateway to Waynesboro" Mark Cline 1989
Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts
In 2009, there were efforts made to restore these murals, but I'm not sure if they ever got permission from the railroad.
I have to talk about Mark Cline for a minute.  He painted these murals under a train bridge on the outskirts of Waynesboro in 1989, but he is also the genius behind Enchanted Castle Studios. He created Foamhenge and Escape from Dinosaur Kingdom, and about a million other amazing, kitschy, roadside attractions and sculptures. His studio in Natural Bridge was burned down (possibly by religious fanatics, speaking of escándalo) in 2001. William King Museum of Art in Abington, VA is currently hosting an exhibition of Cline's work that will be open until June 26.
Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts
I visited Enchanted Castle Studios in 2014 and took pictures through the fence like a creep.
Shenandoah Valley Street Art: Waynesboro & Staunton | Yeti Crafts
440 N Commerce Ave (detail) by Heather Marshall of Roanoke
The artists that painted all over E-N Computers last summer volunteered their time, talent, and paint to brighten the community of Basic City, which is an industrial area of Waynesboro, Virginia. MacRae was inspired by the larger scale events in Richmond and believes that the prevalence of blank-walled warehouses makes this area a prime candidate for capitalizing on the current street art trend.  Bigger festivals could translate into serious tourism revenue. 




E-N Computer Octopus by Clinton Jones of Lynchburg


E-N Computer Humv and Acab of Roanoke



Basic City Luncheonette 408 N. Commerce (Waynesboro) Cody Brogan and Ethan Donnelly
There was also a mural on the side of Bargain Barn on Commerce, but it was blocked by a big truck the day I was there and I was unable to get a good picture.
Newtown Bakery (Staunton) by Mary Baldwin College's Mapping History and Hope art class and Claudia Bernardi
Staunton is only about twelve miles west of Waynesboro, but it has a completely different vibe.  Where Waynesboro balances between suburbs and industrial buildings, Staunton's precipitous hills are lined with historic architecture.  I've had a more difficult time finding any large scale public art there because the area is simply less inclined to it.  While warehouses almost seem designed specifically for murals, Queen Anne style brick buildings with turrets and ornate decorative details don't leave a lot of room to paint. I've been informed that there is another Claudia Bernardi mural on the Mary Baldwin campus, so I plan on checking that out when I get a chance.
Also at Newtown Bakery
Downtown Staunton Mural by Hugh Luck, completed as part of a city revitalization contest in the 1970s.

1 comment:

  1. theres one at party and paper in waynesboro classic auto body also and kings of the valley tattoo in verona

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