I love giant murals painted on the vacant walls of buildings. They add so much life to the building — and the urban area all around. My favorite is the immense picture of two humpback whales on the side of the Dominion Towers parking deck in Norfolk. But the whales will have plenty of competition in downtown Richmond.

Artists from around the world have begun painting murals on buildings in the Broad Street corridor for a month-long art show, G40 Art Summit-Richmond, reports the Times-Dispatch. The art exhibit coincides with a city proposal to convert the Broad Street corridor into an arts and culture district. (See “Richmond’s Wine and Brie Path to Economic Development.”)

Photo credit: Times-Dispatch

“We can help an artists district create a great identity,” said Shane Pomajambo, the G40 organizer. “If you drive by Broad Street after we’re done, you’re going to know it’s the arts district.”

Italian artist Pixel Pancho has already gotten to work, completing a mural of two weightless retro-astronauts kissing. Organizers expect to splash some 20 works of art on downtown buildings, including one that will be five-stories tall.

I can hardly wait to move from the sterile ‘burbs back to downtown!


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  1. Geeze Bacon.. I thought at first Peter wrote this. My God, you’re starting to sound like a limb wrist liberal! BLAH… wash out my mouth with soap!

  2. Nah, Peter would never write anything like this. He thinks all that “creative class” stuff is B.S.

  3. Federal judge sides with Maine governor who caused uproar by removing labor mural


    “Government Speech” was protected!

  4. accurate Avatar

    Well, to each his/her own. To me living in downtown of ANY town would be just one degree above prison and I really don’t care how ‘lovely’ you want to make my accommodations. It could be a 3000 sq ft penthouse on the 40 floor looking out over a river WITH a nice big patio area where I could grow plants and veggies and it would STILL feel like prison. No, give me a decent size yard where I can roam and do pretty much what I want with it. Give me a house that I can change, paint, tear down walls, plumbing, change kitchens, do what I want, when I want and how I want. Don’t stick my neighbors above, below or beside me, if I want to make noise (or they do) inside the residence, we don’t have to hear each other. Bottom line, I HATE the urban area – but I respect that some folks love it.

    1. Exactly, to each his own. That’s the philosophy we should all live by.

      With one caveat… While people should be free to live where they want, they shouldn’t expect others to pay the locational costs of their personal choices.

  5. ode to a Single family detached home man.


  6. I suppose you remember the story of the mural of lage puppy dogs playing, that was placed on the side of a building facing a public kiddie park. It was on the side of a veterinarians building, and the neighbors demanded that it come down, claiming it was an advertisement.

    Happened in Arlington, I beleive.

    1. I remember that. Shame on Arlington! … I went to downtown Richmond over the weekend and saw a couple of the murals first-hand. They were great. Everybody I know (a relatively small circle, admittedly) likes them.

  7. they shouldn’t expect others to pay the locational costs of their personal choices.

    Those who expect such costs to be paid need to come up with an acceptable and fair minded way to determine them. The EMR method amounted to a bunch of pseudo code ending in the logical conundrum “a miracle happens here”.

    It is my belief that if such a thing as rational and fair cost analysis ever happens, some folks will be woefully surprised at how the costs actually stack up.

  8. Don’t stick my neighbors above, below or beside me,……

    You have no idea. I have a neighbor with a gorgeous farm with two lovely and ancient homes.

    He was at my place recently and remarked “This place is really paradise.”

    Why? I am back from the road. He is right on (what passes for) the highway, and every time one of his horses lies down, there is someone knocking on the door warning him the horses are “sick”. Every time he burns a brush pile, someone calls the fire department.

    And, if he paints a mural on the side of his barn: that is against the law.

  9. In Brazil, all beach proerty is public, and much of the adjacent land has been set aside for conservation or parks.

    But because there were historically indigeneous people in those areas it is possible to get a building right, even within protected areas.

    EXTREMELY rich people have been getting their hands on such permits and using them to build lavish squatters mansions on all kinds of remote sites, going to great expense to bury and othwrwise hide the extent of their construction from view.

    It is pretty hard to hide a 17,000 square METER home, but these people have managed to make them “blend in” to the environment.

    When discovered by the government, these guys simply unleash the lawyers, and some have been in litgation for decades, all the while expandng and adding amenities to their “summer camp”.

    When yuo look araound at where the really wealthy put their estates, and where the really poor build their slums, it is hard to make any kind of case for urban areas, except as a dumping ground for the wretched souls that have to work.

  10. Densificatition won a victory last week, though.

    “Property owners won a significant victory last week from the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue was how quickly limitations on property use by the federal Environmental Protection Agency can be challenged in court.

    For decades, the EPA has been using particularly brutal tactics against property owners. The EPA has claimed that someone’s property is a “wetland” — often absurdly defined — that severely restricts development. Appeals by the property owners could take years and hundreds of thousands of dollars first to wind through the EPA process before ending up in court. The EPA, of course, has all the time in the world and unlimited funds from taxpayers.” ….

    “..in 2007, “The EPA informed the Sacketts that they suspected they were building on wetlands and had to cease work immediately. The Sacketts were stunned because their property was a completely landlocked lot within an existing subdivision. the National Fish and Wildlife Wetlands Inventory, which showed them that their lot “was not on an existing wetland.”

    The EPA still issued what’s known as a compliance order, which said that the Sacketts were in violation of the Clean Water Act and subject to fines of up to $37,500 a day.”

    So, here we are, five years after the Sacketts started construction, and the Supreme Court voted 9-0 to allow them to sue EPA immediately, instead of wading through the endless delays EPA would have, (and probably still will) throw up. (The whole situation is mindful of the new DC plan: if you want to contest a traffic or parking ticket, you pay the fine and the court costs, before you are allowed a heareng where you can try to get them back.)

    “….property rights and due process “don’t seem to be important to the EPA. Even when the circuit courts ruled against them, EPA kept doing it.”
    John Eastman ,law professor at Chapman University School of Law and founding director of the school’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

    Protecting the environment is important, but the EPA has become a typical tyrannical, centralized agency. The Declaration of Independence said the British crown “erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

    As far as I am concerced, the real take away here is that the government needs to be forced to deal with mortals on a human scale of time, such that when their life is going to be wrecked, it can be wrecked in a timely manner, and they can get on with what is left of it.

  11. I like the murals. Use and existing resource and give someone a job.

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