Murals add color, character to Southeast Roanoke community

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 3:45 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Star City is getting a lot more colorful and you have a chance to make your mark.

“As a local artist, this project has been really important to me to show a little bit of love and joy to the area,” says Jon Murrill, Roanoke artist.

Through grant money allocated by the city, three new murals are underway in Southeast Roanoke.

“This is called the Southeast greenways project. It encompasses both the 9th Street and the 13th Street bridge. We’ve been working on this for over a month now,” he says.

Murrill’s designs were chosen for the project.

“At this location here, we have the imagery from the river specifically. The ripples, the green herring, the river reeds, we’ll have some other imagery from the area in southeast. Then, at the 9th street location, we have a big “I heart Southeast” sign. We’ve painted the streets of downtown and Southeast Roanoke so people can come up and say ‘that’s where I live. That’s the street I live on,’ and that’s added a whole other level of engagement.”

Adding to that engagement is the creation of community days, a chance for folks to help create the murals together every Saturday until completion.

“For anyone that’s interested, come as you are, come ready to work, and go at your own pace,” he explains. “We’ll have the paint ready and mixed and the sections that you can go ahead and begin to paint prepared for you and anybody of any certain skill level or age is welcome to come and enjoy and participate.”

Murrill says this kind of engagement is what makes this art so special.

“For these projects, this has been a great opportunity for people to come and take some ownership of the project. A lot of artists are not open to other people taking ownership but through this project and other projects of mine, I celebrate it and we celebrate the fact that people can come out and show some love to their hometown.”

The project is projected to be finished sometime in September.

Information about signing up for community days can be found here.

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