Through a collaborative partnership between the Grandin Village Business Association, the Roanoke Arts Commission, and the Roanoke Natural Foods Co+op, a new series of murals have been installed in historic Grandin Village.
Dubbed “The Art Walk”, the outdoor installation of murals is located on the south facing wall of the Roanoke Natural Foods Co+op in historic Grandin Village, in the ally between the Co+op and Pinnacle Bank.
The project began 20 months ago in early 2021, when the GVBA inquired about a public arts grant provided by the Roanoke Arts Commission. Doug Jackson of the RAC made the GVBA aware of a three-pronged grant that required an initial donation from the RAC for $4K, which in turn needed to be matched by a non-profit community-based organization, and a privately run or member-based organization.
The GVBA proposed the idea to the Co+op and all three organizations set out to respectively fund $4K to the project. Additional costs above the initial contributions from each organization were funded through the Co+op’s GIVE UP! Program, which allows shoppers to round up their grocery purchases to create additional dollars. Total cost of the project is estimated at between $15-$17K.
Once underway, the Roanoke Arts Commission put out a call to artists through their extensive network, and potential artists were encouraged to submit mockups of what their mural theme preference would be based on nine separate themes. The overall project’s name is “Walls That Unite”, and the nine themes include diversity, courage, family, gratitude, hope, inspiration, love, respect, and strength. The nine artists hail from as near as the city of Roanoke to Meadows of Dan, Virginia.
“We have always believed that the historic Grandin Village is a fertile commercial district for public art, and that we had the space and desire to have more art for our residents, business owners, and visitors. The WALLS THAT UNITE project is a great example of how private neighborhood organizations and businesses can work together with the Roanoke Arts Commission to utilize public spaces to feature local artists and make our community more attractive through original art,” said Grandin Village Business Association President, Ian Fortier. “We believe the Art Walk is one of the largest multi-mural installations in the region, and we are beyond pleased to feature these artists and their works in the finest mixed-use, pedestrian, boutique commercial district we have in southwest Virginia.”
The “Walls That Unite” Art Walk will be officially dedicated on Saturday, October 8th, at the Blocktoberfest event sponsored by the Raleigh Court Neighborhood Association. Grandin Road will be closed for the Blocktoberfest event between 10 am and 3 pm on the 8th, and the Art Walk celebration will begin at 11 am at the entrance to the Walk between the Roanoke Natural
Food Co+op and Pinnacle Bank. Members from the Grandin Village Business Association, the Roanoke Natural Foods Co+op, the Roanoke Arts Commission, Roanoke City Council, and the artists themselves will be in attendance. The public is welcome to come join in the official dedication.