In July 2016, National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu announced 69 Our Town awards totaling almost $5 million through the Our Town program's fifth year of funding. Piedmont Arts/City of Martinsville is one of those recommended organizations and will receive $25,000 to support the commissioning of public artwork for the museum's Public Art Garden to provide a creative space for residents.
The development of Piedmont Arts' Public Art Garden will directly engage residents of the Martinsville-Henry County area and make the arts highly visible and easily accessible.
The garden will feature original three-dimensional artwork installed outdoors in its public art space. Three designs will be installed, including one which incorporates artistic seating and two free-standing sculptures. Artists selected to design the sculptures are Jessie Ward of Martinsville, Ed Dolinger of Bassett and Mark Wright of Spotsylvania County, who is originally from this area. In addition, a mosaic tile piece will be created through a community-engagement activity using a regional tile artist.
“Piedmont Arts is excited to work with the City of Martinsville on this project,” said Bernadette Moore, Piedmont Arts director of marketing, communication and design, who oversees the museum’s public art initiative. “We have partnered with the City on past public art projects, which have helped to revitalize the Uptown area. The public art garden will be a shining example of how the arts contribute to a vibrant and beautiful community.”
Support public art in your community by making a donation the Piedmont Arts' Public Art Garden. Please include "Public Art Garden" in the comments section on the donation form.
Donations may also be mailed to: Piedmont Arts, 215 Starling Ave., Martinsville, VA 24112
MHC After 3 Mural
Ed Dolinger + MHC After 3 Students
3 Starling Ave, Martinsville
During the summer of 2007 artist Ed Dolinger assisted students from the Martinsville Henry County After 3 (MHC After 3) in the creation a mural for the Martinsville YMCA. The mural was designed and painted by students and installed by Dolinger and Piedmont Arts' staff. The eight-panel mural, which overlooks the YMCA playground, adds a wonderful pop of color to the YMCA building.
The MHC After 3 mural is on permanent display and is open to the public.
This mural is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was funded through a grant from the Harvest Foundation with support from MHC After 3, Martinsville YMCA and City of Martinsville.
Elephants on Parade Mural
John Stiles, Jessie Ward
New College Institute
30 Franklin St, Martinsville
In 2009, Piedmont Arts enlisted artist John Stiles to create a contemporary mural design inspired by an historic photograph from the collection of retired doctor and local property owner, Dr. Mervyn King.
Taken around 1920, the photograph features a parade of elephants, clowns and performers advertising the arrival of a circus in Martinsville. Stiles adapted this photo into a vibrant and detailed mural, which presents an accurate depiction of a familiar location and event in a time of historical, architectural and economic significance in Martinsville's past.
With color and whimsy, Elephants on Parade invites residents and visitors to seek out more information about the area's history.
Upon Stiles' move to Georgia to attend the Savannah College of Art at Design, Piedmont Arts commissioned local artist Jessie Ward to paint the mural, following Stile's design.
Elephants on Parade is on permanent display and is open to the public.
This mural is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was funded through a grant from the Harvest Foundation with support from Dr. and Mrs. Mervyn King, New College Institute and City of Martinsville.
215 Starling Ave, Martinsville
Kabuki Dancer, a large-scale brushed steel sculpture by Barry Tinsley, was donated to Piedmont Arts in 2006 by the children of Paul T. Mattox. Paul was an avid supporter of the arts in Martinsville-Henry County and this eye-catching work, which graces the museum's front patio, is a true tribute to his memory.
Kabuki Dancer is on permanent display and is open to the public.
This sculpture is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was generously donated to the museum by the children of Paul T. Mattox in memory of their father.
TheatreWorks Community Players
44 Franklin St, Martinsville
Renowned artist Scott LoBaido, whose stunning depictions of the American flag can be seen all across America —from a 150,000 sq. ft. flag on a roof in Texas to a 20' x 40' flag on a Boys and Girls Club building in Cailfornia—used his patriotic artistry to create,Old Glory, a stunning American flag mural on the outer wall of TheatreWorks in Uptown Martinsville.
LoBaido created this 38' x 18' mural in honor of Cpl. JB Kerns, a local veteran who lost three limbs in an IED explosion during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Old Glory is on permanent display and is open to the public.
This mural is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was created with the support of the Wounded Warrior Project, City of Martinsville and VisitMartinsville.
Uptown Farmers Market
60 West Church St, Martinsville
After completing a 100 ft. mural for the Heifer Foundation in Arkansas in 2007, Betty LaDuke toured Martinsville-Henry County to create sketches of local people and places. These sketches were the inspiration for the large-scale mural LaDuke created especially for Martinsville's Uptown Farmers' Market.
In 2009, LaDuke's mural was installed adjacent to the Uptown Farmers' Market, where it is in full view of foot traffic, vendors and guests and can be clearly seen from New College Institute's new building on Fayette Street.
In conjunction with LaDuke's mural project, area high school students enrolled in MHC After 3/Upward Bound designed and painted mini-murals inspired by LaDuke's design, which were also installed at the Uptown Farmers' Market. These students worked closely with local artist and instructor, Celia Tucker, who helped guide and complete their designs.
Farmers' Market is on permanent display and is open to the public.
This mural is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was funded through a grant from the Harvest Foundation, a grant from the Puffin Foundation, financial support from from MHC After 3, and the support of City of Martinsville, Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association, Studio 107 and R. Reid Young III, P.C.
June German Ball
Fayette Square Pocket Park
53 Fayette Street, Martinsville
June German Ball, located on Martinsville's historic Fayette Street, celebrates the vibrant culture and heritage of the Fayette Street area.
The mural depicts a fictional scene from one of Martinsville's famed June German Balls, which were popular within the African American community in the early part of the 20th century. These balls were held yearly, in the heat of June, and featured celebrated entertainers from the Jazz age like Jimmie Lunceford & His Dance Orchestra, who performed at the event in 1938.
Martinsville's June German Balls are a point of pride for the community and have become legend amongst local residents—whether or not they ever actually attended an event.
June German Ball was designed and painted by Abigail Kieselbach and Briana Amos, interns participating in the New College Institute's summer internship program; local artists Charles Hill, Iris Gillispie and Lex Hairston; Piedmont Arts intern, Ally Sneed; New College Institute's Coordinator of Experimental Learning, Katie Croft; and Piedmont Arts' Director of Marketing, Communications and Design, Bernadette Moore.
This mural is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was planned and funded by New College Institute with support from City of Martinsville.
Uptown Pocket Park
41 Fayette Street, Martinsville
Like a postcard of yesteryear, the Uptown Connection
Trail mural sends well wishes to visitors taking a break in Uptown’s newest pocket park. Designed and painted by local artists Amanda Honore Donley and Aleen Wilson, this mural is a picture-perfect addition to historic Uptown.
This mural is part of Piedmont Arts' public art program and was funded by City of Martinsville.
Mobilizing Our Community
28 Locations in Martinsville-Henry County
Students from all 19 schools in Martinsville-Henry County participated in Mobilizing Our Community, a mobile-making project presented by Piedmont Arts.
Artist Kevin Reese worked with local students to create large-scale, dynamic mobiles that are now a permanent part of our community.
Mobiles on view to the public can be found at the following locations:
Mobiles installed in non-public facilities are located at The Lester Group offices, Hooker Furniture's Customer Service Center, Chick-fil-A, RTI International Metals, and private residences.
The following businesses, organizations and individuals provided support for Mobilizing Our Community:
Virginia Commission for the Arts • National Endowment for the Arts • United Way of Henry County and Martinsville • Dominion • RTI International Metals • Hooker Furniture • Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County • Chick-fil-A • W.W. Sale Foundation • Lucy P. Sale Foundation • Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County • The Lester Group • Kathryn Ascough Smith Art Education Fund of Piedmont Arts