artist begins work on mural in downtown Halifax lane | City of Halifax
A local artist breathes new life into an alleyway in downtown Halifax.
Obie Coleman started work last week on a mural showcasing all that Halifax County has to offer on one of the walls in Hite Insurance’s lane off South Main Street. The mural is part of an “Urban Thinkscape” project designed to transform the old vacant lane into a space that the community and visitors can enjoy.
The vibrant mural incorporates historic Halifax County landmarks, such as Berry Hill Plantation and the Halifax County Courthouse, as well as other Halifax County cultural landmarks and attractions such as the Fairgrounds County of Halifax, river recreation on the Staunton River, The Prizery, South Boston Speedway with Ward Burton’s No.22 Race Car and a farm scene.
The map is also a “key” to Halifax County, with landmarks displayed at their appropriate location on the map.
“It will be a guide for Halifax County. People will know where to stop relative to where something is on the map, ”said Coleman.
As the South Boston artist painted details of the children pictured at the Halifax County Fairgrounds in his work on Friday afternoon, he explained why the inclusion of children in the public mural was important to him. .
“I wanted to create a festive scene that would make the kids want to be here and have a more family environment,” Coleman said. “People are always complaining that there is nothing to do in Halifax County. Maybe with a change of scenery and people outside it could attract more things to do here.
A native of Halifax County, Coleman said working on the mural inspired him to explore more of Halifax County and gave him a greater sense of pride in his community, and he hopes that will inspire others. community members to enjoy all of this Halifax County. also has to offer.
“We have a lot of history here. And a lot of people come here just to see what nature is like and they really enjoy it, ”Coleman noted. “When you’re from around here, you don’t like him that much. It might inspire people to go further and explore Halifax. It also gives you a sense of pride to be from here.
Coleman, who owns his own “Hues by OC” art business, and his girlfriend Alexis Williams began work on the mural on September 27 and hope to complete the project by the middle of the month, if time permits. allow. The mural features a combination of acrylic paint, water-based paint and spray paint.
Coleman said he hopes the public art project will introduce people to the art who otherwise might not meet it. He added that the project was also in keeping with the art style he portrays, which he describes as “art history fused with culturally relevant things.”
The mural is just one part of the overall view of the 11½-foot-wide, 68-foot-long lane between Guns N Stuff, owned by Frank Booker, and Hite Insurance, owned by Marsha Hite. Halifax Deputy City Manager Denise Barksdale is leading the “Urban Thinkscape” alley project. Barksdale and his group were awarded a ChangeX grant as part of the Microsoft Sustainable Communities Challenge for the project.
Work on the project began in early spring, when group members cleaned up the walls connecting the lane and installed lights in the area.
“We are very excited about this ChangeX project and look forward to seeing the community take advantage of this newly developed space,” Barksdale commented at the time. “Located in the project space, there will be outdoor dining available, free Wi-Fi at all provided by Hite Insurance and outdoor games for children of all ages. We are very excited to see the mural, which is created by local artists Coleman and Williams, and will be a great learning piece for all ages. “
The alley is one of many outdoor ‘activity centers’ that the City of Halifax plans to create in its downtown area, as well as installing orientation signs throughout downtown to guide you. visitors to important landmarks.