» Roanoke says END RACISM NOW

The 200 block of Campbell Avenue, SW, is the canvas for a community organized street mural project implemented on Sunday, July 12.  Deploying a dozen artists, the community is expressed its stance that racism has no place in Roanoke. The message: END RACISM NOW. Campbell Avenue will be closed for viewing through Saturday evening, July 18 at 5 PM.

The Campbell Avenue mural centers on the City’s 1915 classical revival Municipal Building. The design, primarily comprised of 12-foot high letters, spans 140 feet. It is framed by a partial listing of Black victims of police violence across the country. 

“Our city is not just painting the words on the street,” says Urban Arts Project volunteer. Alyasa “Aly” Jones. “We’re committed to the message. This is a step in the right direction as Roanoke shows support for their community to effect change. We are the Urban Arts Project and we believe in change. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Isn’t that what they say? We hope this sparks a much-needed conversation and the unification our city needs to END RACISM NOW!” Find local anti-racism resources here.

The Urban Arts Project team (from front left) Alyasa Jones, Jordan Bell, Sherman Lea, Jr., Xavier Duckett, (Roanoke Arts & Cultural Coordinator Doug Jackson), Eboni Harrington, and Karmeron Melton.

The street mural is a temporary project, as Campbell Avenue is slated for repaving in the 2022 Fiscal Year.

“We’ll have the message up for less than two years. But that’s two years in which we can work together with, and as part of, our local government. We do this work together, and right now, we feel it’s important that the City hear our voices. We’ll continue to make this community work for ALL of us.” 

Roanoke Arts Commission Chair Cari C. Gates echoes the importance of this effort. “Some of the best work we can do as the Roanoke Arts Commission is to help neighborhood and community leaders effect change through art,” she says, “This is a great example, and its something we believe in as a Commission. We commend these young leaders and their dedicated efforts.”

Star City DJs spun music as volunteers and artists shaped the city message.

Read Dan Casey’s column in The Roanoke Times.

A diverse group of artists were each assigned a letter to design and paint. 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

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E –           Jordan Fitzgerald

Jordan Fitzgerald is a 31-year old Roanoke native (currently residing in Charlotte, NC.) whose art evolved around the time Michael Brown Jr. was murdered in 2014. Art became a therapeutic tool use to heal and empower herself and others while battling media’s habit of portrayal of black people in a negative, stereotypical light. For Jordan, painting was the opportunity to display the beauty of blackness.  

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N –           Ella Trinkle

Ella Trinkle was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia, and has always loved the Valley. After spending three years in Richmond working in education, she will start her first teaching position this year—in Roanoke City Public Schools! Ella, inspired by her mother at a young age, has always loved the arts and spends free time printmaking and drawing. 

Ann Trinkle
A proud native Roanoker, Ann Trinkle attended Randolph Macon Woman’s College and VCU where she received an MFA in sculpture. She has shown work mostly in Virginia, but also in NC, Chicago and New York. She moved back to Roanoke from Chicago in 1992 with husband Dave. They’ve raised three children in Roanoke, run small businesses, including two restaurants, and are heavily into arts advocacy. She’s excited to work alongside her daughter Ella in this project.

 

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D –           Maggie Perrin-Key

Maggie Perrin-Key is a Roanoke-based artist and muralist. She has a BA in studio art from Hollins University and has an upcoming show at Alexander/Heath Contemporary.

 

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R –           Bryce Cobbs

Bryce Cobbs is an aspiring artist and avid creator. Having just taken his first art class during his junior year of high school, he now finds himself attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, majoring in Communication Arts. While focusing heavily on portraiture and anatomy, Bryce attempts to keep a common narrative with all of his work. “Celebrating the beauty and the life of being black.”

 

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A –           Toobz Muir

Prolific Roanoke-based artist and muralist Toobz Muir has a paint brush at the ready. Find his distinctive, colorful, and thought-provoking murals in most corners of the city. 

 

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C –           Nadya Kahilian 

Nadya Khalilian, who grew up in Roanoke, previously studied Art Education at Emory & Henry College. She is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education and works as an Instructional Aid at Hurt Park Elementary. 

                Kate Kahilian 

Kate Khalilian lives in Richmond Va and was a decorative painter in the Roanoke area for 15 years. Some of her work can be seen at the Grandin Theater, The Patrick Henry Hotel, and the Ponce De Leon building. 

 

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I  –           Dyke Wood

Abstract expressionist and native Roanoker Dyke Wood, graduated from Patrick Henry High School, and attended Hampton University prior to being employed with Norfolk and Western/Norfolk Southern Railroad for 38 years.

 

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S –    Katrina “Trees” Legan

To say that art and creative expression runs in Katrina “Trees” Legans veins would be an understatement. She is a native of NW Roanoke, Virginia and a graduate of William Fleming High School currently residing in Denver, CO. Introduced to the arts at an early age, her artistry can best be described as both eclectic and eccentric–fusing together painting, graffiti/calligraphy, and mixed media.

 

Photo taken with Focos

M-           Katherine Devine

Katherine Devine received her undergraduate degree in art from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, and her Master’s degree from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.  She has over 25 years experience teaching art and exhibiting original artwork throughout the Roanoke Valley. She works in a small studio, but she dreams big.

 

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N –           Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones is a 40-year-old father born in Bedford Virginia currently living in Roanoke Virginia Working in the maintenance industry. Jonathan has been building his reputation as a local painter for the past 10 years.

 

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O –           Monica Jones

Monica is a 44-year-old mother of four. Born in Bedford Virginia currently working at optical cable and has been a resident artist in Roanoke Virginia since high school. Monica is assisted by Jasmine Haskins, a 39-year-old mother of four, born in Bedford Virginia living in Roanoke Virginia. Jasmine currently works in the healthcare profession and has only been painting for about three years. 

To say that art and creative expression runs in Katrina “Trees” Legans veins would be an understatement. She is a native of NW Roanoke, Virginia and a graduate of William Fleming High School currently residing in Denver, CO. Introduced to the arts at an early age, her artistry can best be described as both eclectic and eccentric–fusing together painting, graffiti/calligraphy, and mixed media.

Visit the group event page to view pictures. 

MEDIA
WSLS
WDBJ
The Roanoke Times

For video footage
Cloud Bobby Productions
Karen Bolton 

More than 37 volunteers have committed the day to making the mural possible. The leadership team of the Roanoke Urban Art Project include:

Jordan Bell
Xavier Duckett
Eboni Harrington
Aly Jones
Sherman Lea, Jr.
Kameron Melton

The following organizations have provided financial support for the project: 

  • City of Roanoke 
  • Magic City Ford
  • New Hope Support Services, LLC
  • Roanoke Arts and Cultural Endowment
  • Roanoke Arts Commission

 

 

Published by Douglas Charles Jackson

Roanoke VA based writer and community coach.

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