Piedmont Arts

Public Art in Martinsville-Henry County

Piedmont Arts' public art program is designed to introduce art into the everyday landscape of Martinsville-Henry County.

The program engages 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 MHC through this program.

For information on participating in Piedmont Arts' public art program as a contributing artist or to suggest a prospective installation site, please contact Bernadette Moore at bmoore@piedmontarts.org

June German Ball Mural
Artists: Abigail Kieselbach, Breanna Amos, Charles Hill, Iris Gillispie, Lex Hairston, Bernadette Moore, Katie Croft
Fayette Square
Corner of Moss and Fayette St, Martinsville

Piedmont Arts is proud to welcome a new piece of artwork to the museum's public art program.

On July 17, the June German Ball Mural was unveiled during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the City of Martinsville's newest pocket park, Fayette Square. The mural 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.

"We are very excited to be part of such a community-enriching project," said Moore, who oversees Piedmont Arts' public art program. "The June German Ball mural really captures the essence of vitality and togetherness that is so present in MHC. Our local artists, Charles Hill, Iris Gillispie and Lex Hairston did a wonderful job supporting the NCI interns through this process and the mural now has a perfect home at Fayette Square. We hope the community will really embrace the city's pocket parks and continue to lend support to public art projects that will help enhance the city's visual landscape in the future."

Thanks to New College Institute, City of Martinsville, The Artisan Center, FAHI African American Museum and Cultural Center, Katie Croft, Susan McCulloch, Charles Hill, Iris Gillispie, Lex Hairston, Abigail Kieselbach, Briana Amos and everyone who helped make this project possible.

Kabuki Dancer
Artist: Barry Tinsley
Piedmont Arts
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.

American Flag Mural
Artist: Scott LoBaido
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 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
Artists: Ed Dolinger + MHC After 3 Students
Martinsville YMCA
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.

NCI Historic Circus Mural
Artists: John Stiles, Jessie Ward + Charles Hill
New College Institute
30 Franklin St, 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
Artist: Betty LaDuke
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 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.