Oasis Gallery unveils new LOVEworks mural in downtown Harrisonburg

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — Oasis Gallery has been in downtown Harirsonburg for 20 years and the co-op gallery is trying to help beautify Water Street through Virginia's LOVEworks program. On Wednesday, the gallery unveiled a mural that board members said represent what makes Harrisonburg great.

The mural incorporates both love and culture.| Photo: WHSV

Barbara Camph, a board member for Oasis, said the mural embraced both love and culture.

"It's all about Harrisonburg and the wonderful diversity and friendliness and just this great community," said Camph.

Camph said she got the idea a while ago and the project took about a year to complete. She said her nephew, Dave Ward, who started the Harrisonburg High School Ambassador program, helped to include students in the project.

Students in the program wrote the word "love" in their native languages in tiles that are incorporated in the piece.

Sally Ridgway, who is also a board member for Oasis, said there are 28 different languages represented in the mosaic.

"There are a lot of different cultures and a lot that have been brought in and helped to make a better life, so this is just our way of showing that," said Ridgway.

Sarah Lock, president of the Oasis board of directors, said that the mural also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Virginia is for Lovers. They received a grant from Virginia Tourism to help pay for the piece, which brings life to Water Street.

"It's kind of a gift from Oasis to the community to help brighten up the streets of Harrisonburg," said Lock.

Camph said that it took about four months to put the mosaic together and special material had to be used to make sure it would withstand all kinds of weather.

"It is a dream come true. I love the fact that we're getting more and more public art in Harrisonburg, but art that means something as well and conveys a message," said Camph.

Oasis encourages people to visit the artwork and take selfies in front of it. Those who take selfies and post them with #LoveVA and #OasisGallery will get a free pin from the gallery.