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Posted on: October 12, 2020

New Asphalt Art Project Brings Norview Community Together

Street mural will brighten Bland Street near Five Points intersection. Public Invited to Ribbon Cutting & Opening Celebration on October 17th from 1-3pm.

NORFOLK, VA – Local artist, Mensah Bey, will be working with community volunteers to complete, Gathering in Abundance, a street mural on Bland Street near the Five Points Intersection in the Norview neighborhood. The 100’ long, brightly colored artwork draws inspiration from West African Adinkra symbolism. Ideas of unity, togetherness, abundance, and cooperation are used to inspire growth in community, business, and relationships. The artwork also uses pedestrian movement and dance to evoke a sense of activity and caution when entering/exiting this side street to a busy and popular intersection. 

Mensah will be painting on October 14, 15 and 16. The public is invited to a ribbon cutting and dance celebration on Saturday, October 17 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. All events will take place at the OpenNorfolk Neighborhood Spot between Bland Street and the Five Points intersection. Free tacos will be served by PDS Taco truck and the Norfolk Police Department will share and enjoy ice cream treats with everyone from the COPsicle Ice Cream Truck. Justice the NPD Mascot will also be on site!

A large hourglass shape that symbolizes changing time anchors the design. As the world was affected by COVID-19 in 2020, we all dealt with shifts in our daily lives and relationships. This design, in part, acknowledges and embraces change and hopes to encourage and support the neighborhood and area businesses. Flower symbols are placed in accordance with social distancing rules for group activities, giving 10 or more feet of space between individuals if standing on each shape.

This project is supported by a grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative which helps cities use art and community engagement to improve street safety and revitalize public space, with funding awarded to Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia and Norfolk Arts. Three streets, one in each of the three Norfolk Police Patrol Divisions will eventually be painted. The project continues the work of the Cops and Kids Eating (CAKE) program and will offer a chance for the police to engage residents and embrace the communities where they work. The events will not only beautify and enliven neighborhoods but will increase police-community trust. 

To help paint go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D49ABAD2BA2FFC52-community

To see more about the event https://www.facebook.com/events/418882019083575/

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