Where Culture and Community Connect.
Creating Our Culture is a placemaking project by the Downtown Lynchburg Association and Blackwater Branding.
About This Mural
Understanding the intent behind Creating our Culture.
The primary goal with Creating Our Culture came out of a specific need in our community. Public spaces are often where social issues quietly take center stage. Issues such as exclusion, homelessness, addiction and quality of life whisper for help, yet are missed opportunities for impact. Because of this, we desired our work to be a visual passport for all creatives of color. A vibrant design that would increase awareness of, and create opportunities for local artists of color. Downtown is filled with art – visual, theatrical, spoken word, public art, etc. But often times, we find that the same artists, and the same black artists in particular, are invited to participate and/or receive commissions.
With this project, we will seek to elevate previously unknown artists and their voices, provide them more exposure, and ultimately bringing new perspectives to the downtown and community landscape. In addition, the depiction of people of color as the subject of the mural will help to establish downtown as a place where BIPOC people are both represented and welcome.
Lastly, as part of our mission to create a strong, vibrant, and welcoming downtown, we hope that public art and placemaking will continue to position downtown as a safe space for people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs. This mural is a small part of that larger effort to help create a more welcoming and exciting environment.
Listen to The Muralist's Playlist
Over the past 3 weeks one question continued to arise. “What are you listening to?”
Well as promised, here are some of the songs we listened to while creating. Enjoy!
Muralist: Jawansa Hall, Christina Davis and Twon Smith
Artist, Teacher, and Muralist Christina lives with her family in the heart of Virginia. If you are holding a cup of coffee and taking a stroll you may see some of her large murals in Downtown and Midtown Lynchburg City. She has created numerous pieces within Lynchburg City School buildings and small businesses.
Christina seeks to advocate for the importance of representation through her various depictions of black portraiture. In addition, Christina loves donating time and fundraising alongside local charities and nonprofits. You can currently take classes from her online as well as in person at the Academy Center for the Fine Arts in Downtown Lynchburg.
Born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, Nikos embarked on his journey of creative writing after examining the cross section between hip-hop and spoken word; both as oral history and time pieces that encapsulate the voices of those who have been voiceless, the historically disenfranchised. As an artist, Nikos utilizes different narratives to paint vivid portraits on the Black condition in America, poverty, social issues, and romance. Through introspection and honesty, he is able to navigate tough & uncharted waters in the poetry field of literature.
Raven’s passion for dance sprouted at an early age . In high school she was very active and was engaged in any sport that she could express a desire in. Raven has choreographed for JROTC exhibitions, high school & competition cheerleading, along with pageants and many more . With an 11 year background in dance she has established a small business known as Motivate and Kreate (M.A.K.) which has helped a substantial amount of men and women heal through dance . You can find her at The Vibe Studio of Lynchburg where she teaches multiple genres of dance which including Contemporary, Hip Hop, Adult Sensual, and Bounce.
Spenser Harris is one of Lynchburg’s best kept secrets. He was chosen at the age 2, to wield and use this MAGICAL instrument known as a guitar. This gift provoked deep love and IMAGINATION to his soul for over two decades.
Spenser has shared stages and been in the presence of names such as, Chris Stapleton, Salt n Peppa, Destiny’s Child Michelle Williams and many many more. From teaching online and in small groups to musical mentorship, Spenser’s adventure continues to expanded and lead him to places and people from all walks of life. Let’s see what happens next!
Chaconias K. Stewart is a skilled cinematographer who has worked in film and video production for over eight years. As the tools, technology and techniques in this field have evolved and moved into the digital space, his experience, training and education have allowed him to build out exciting new products and services previously available only at a premium. A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, he holds a B.A. in Communications with a focus in Film and Television Production from, Oakwood University. He enjoys working with creative director and collaborative team to bring their visions to life. He has a passion for capturing, recreating and editing his works in a manner that makes each project speak and each viewer listen.
Angelina Dawn is an inclusive creative advocate who stretches her talents through poetry, spoken word,acting, and creating written bodies of work. She is a twice published author, one being a self published poetry work titled “Yellow”. She is an active member in the creative community, hosting events geared towards inclusiveness of creative’s to promote healing by creating and experiencing art from others. She currently serves as Co Executive Director of The Listening.
Twon Smith is a visual artist with an educational backround in Fine Arts, specifically Painting and Printmaking, however over the last few years his interest has moved to Digital Media. Twon have always liked loose and expressive work such as Japanese illustrator Yoji Shinkawa, “I’ve found the speed and freedom of today’s software to be very attractive.” His influences from childhood include video games, action movies, and all kinds of concept art.
Currently Twon is working on improving his digital portraits and figurative work. “The message within my work is the journey of creation. When done well, sometimes the destination is something attractive.”
Would you like to be considered as a featured artist for Creating Our Culture? Fill out this short form to get things started.
Thank you so much to our sponsors and supporters. Together we are making an impact.