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UPDATE: The art projects on Hickok Street were delayed due to rain on Friday, Oct. 26. They will be rescheduled and completed as soon as possible.
The Town of Christiansburg is celebrating the arts this fall, with a lineup of street art unveilings in the historic Cambria district and downtown.
Starting today, Oct. 23, through Friday, Oct. 26, five art projects will be completed. The Town is also commissioning a mural that will be installed on Christiansburg Police Department’s building in November. The Town will hold an official unveiling of that mural within the next month to celebrate both its installation and the completion of the five art projects that are being painted this week.
“Arts, history and culture have always been passions of mine, and when I came to Christiansburg, I realized there’s a ton of it here, but we’re just not highlighting it,” said Casey Jenkins, events coordinator and farmers’ market manager, who joined the Town in March 2018. “I was asked to join the Central Business District Committee, and Town Council members Merissa Sachs and Sam Bishop were prioritizing art projects at the time, so it was a perfect match for us to work together. Once we were able to connect with interested artists, it made the committee’s street art dreams a reality. The committee hopes these projects are just the beginning and can be a catalyst for more community programming moving forward.”
A water meter manhole cover on the sidewalk of West Main Street in downtown Christiansburg will be painted into a horse and wagon by artist Nikki Pynn today and on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The Town of Christiansburg is paying Pynn a $100 stipend and purchasing needed art supplies.
Two storm drains in Cambria will be painted by Katy Shepard today and on Thursday, Oct. 25. Shepard will be transforming one storm drain into a flower with bees and another into a frog with lilies. An anonymous donor from the community has paid for Shepard’s painting supplies and a stipend for her work.
Two projects will occur on Hickok Street in downtown Christiansburg, where the Town hosts its weekly farmers’ market on Thursdays, from May to October. Christiansburg Town Council recently voted to permanently close a portion of Hickok Street to ultimately transform the area into a pedestrian center. While major construction will be occurring in and reshaping this area during the next fiscal year, these art installations are the first step in making Hickok Street a destination downtown.
An Appalachian Electric Power (AEP) power box on Hickok Street will be painted by the Tuxedo Pandas, a program of the New River Robotics Association, which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization chartered to promote STEM with area middle and high schoolers. The Tuxedo Pandas plan to transform the power box into a robotic panda on Friday, Oct. 26, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Town will be providing needed art supplies for the project.
And finally, Christiansburg High School students will be painting the road in the permanently closed portion of Hickok Street between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26. The Town will be providing needed art supplies for their project.
“We’ve had private businesses in town sponsor art projects and sculptures, and their outstanding contributions made us realize we should also be chipping in to beautify our public spaces in this way and encourage creativity,” Christiansburg Mayor Mike Barber said. “Public art creates a sense of community and welcomes visitors to our home, and these inexpensive projects – that also highlight our local talent – go a long way in helping to revitalize our historic districts.”
The Town will soon announce the date of the official celebration of these projects and the unveiling of the police department mural.