Piedmont Arts

Public Art

Piedmont Arts' Public Art Exhibit is designed to introduce art into the everyday landscape of Martinsville and Henry County. We seek to engage local and regional artists, whose work adds to the scenic beauty of our community. To date, seven artists have installed six sculptures and three murals in our community through this program.

American Flag Mural
Scott LoBaido

TheatreWorks Community Players
44 Franklin Street, 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 Houston, TX, to a 20 ft. x 40 ft. flag on a Boys and Girls Club building in Temecula, CA – has used his patriotic artistry to create a stunning American flag mural on the side of TheatreWorks in Uptown Martinsville. LoBaido created this 38 ft. x 18 ft. 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.

LoBaido recently painted Old Glory in conjunction with a Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band concert to build a "smart home" for another wounded veteran. Watch the video.

MHC After 3 Mural
Ed Dolinger

Martinsville YMCA
3 Starling Avenue, 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.

NCI Historic Circus Mural
John Stiles, Jessie Ward

New College Institute
30 Franklin Street, Martinsville

In 2009, Piedmont Arts enlisted local graphic designer and artist John Stiles to create a contemporary mural design inspired by an historic photograph provided by NCI building owners, by Dr. and Mrs. Mervyn King. Taken around 1920, the photograph features a parade of elephants and other performers advertising the arrival of a circus in Martinsville. The mural's theme also incorporates its location in the Uptown Historic District, particularly its proximity to The Historic Courthouse and other significant buildings.

Though Stile's design has a fresh, contemporary look, which includes elements meant to grab the viewer's attention, it also accurately depicts a familiar location and event in a time of historical, architectural and economic significance in our community's past. It invites residents and visitors to seek out more information about the area's history, while appreciating the updated look to the NCI building.

Upon Stile's move to Georgia to attend the Savannah College of Art at Design, Piedmont Arts commissioned local artist Jessie Ward to paint the NCI mural, following Stile's design. With the assistance of several helpers, Ward completed the mural in a one-month period finishing in the Fall of 2009.

Uptown Farmers Market Mural
Betty LaDuke

Uptown Farmers Market
60 West Church Street, Martinsville

After completing a 100 ft. mural for the Heifer Foundation in Arkansas in 2007, Betty LaDuke toured Martinsville and Henry County to create sketches of local people and places. These sketches were the inspiration for the large-scale mural, which LaDuke created for Piedmont Arts' Public Art Exhibit. In 2009, LaDuke's mural was installed on the wall of 60 Church West Street in Uptown Martinsville, where it is in full view of the Uptown Farmer's Market.

In January 2009, high school students enrolled in MHC After 3/Upward Bound began meeting bi-weekly at Studio 107, located in Uptown Martinsville, under the guidance of local artist and instructor Celia Tucker. These students, inspired by LaDuke's mural, designed and painted wood cutouts of figures in action, which were installed on stalls at the Uptown Farmers Market.