Artists in Waynesboro paint the town for Virginia Street Art Festival

The festival kicks off next weekend, but the painting has already begun.
Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - The city of Waynesboro is gearing up for the annual Virginia Street Art Festival and the new murals it will bring to the city next weekend. Every year, artists come out to paint murals of all different styles on walls across the city.

“As more and more of it has been happening, we also started noticing what a lively art community Waynesboro has,” said Terry Ward, the festival’s artistic director. “I would love for Waynesboro to get the reputation of, this is a place where there is a lot of art, and once we put one of these up, there it is for decades.”

The festival has been providing artists a chance to create legal street art and beautify downtown Waynesboro since 2015.

Building owners volunteer their walls to host the art.

“We have a variety of things that are being represented, and I think that’s good for the community to have representations of likenesses, images and feelings that make people feel included and make people feel welcome,” said Kris Krupa, owner of the Heritage on Main restaurant, and two walls where murals will be painted next week.

One of the new additions this year is an in-progress tribute to firefighters outside the fire department, painted by a retired Rockingham County Sheriff’s Officer taking on his largest art project yet.

“I saw the opportunity to do something a little bit bigger, and I didn’t know what wall I was going to get, and it just kind of worked out that this is what I got and I think it’s a privilege because I’ve worked alongside the fire department for years in law enforcement,” said David Wayne, the artist.

The tribute is different from many of the more abstract murals across the city.

“We’ve done a lot of weird stuff, and there has been a little bit of public comment like ‘you‘ve done a lot of weird stuff, how about something that the popular public might appreciate a little more,’ so perfect timing getting that firehouse mural,” said Terry Ward.

For David Wayne, seeing what started out as a simple idea come to fruition on a large scale is the highlight of his work.

“To have it start on a little I-Pad in Photoshop and then watch it come to life and be able to put it together, when people drive by and honk the horn, give a thumbs up and say great job, it’s pretty gratifying,” said Wayne.

The festival’s art has often transformed blemishes in the city, like the abandoned cold storage tower by the park, that now features a massive, well known image of a woman.

“It was just this seven story eye sore, and now it’s an east coast art landmark,” said Terry Ward.

The official festival art tour will take place on Saturday August 28th, you can learn more about the event and the artworks here.

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