In 2019, HDP received a $25,000 Virginia Main Street Downtown Investment Grant (DIG) from the Department of Housing and Community Development to fund several large-scale mural project in Downtown Hopewell. DIGs allow Main Street organizations to take on unique, onetime projects that measurably, creatively, and sustainably advance the organization’s goals and strategies while supporting the community’s vision for encouraging the private investment necessary for the economic revitalization of the Main Street district.
A NEW DAWN by Nico Cathcart is located at 245 E Broadway on the exterior wall of the Butterworth Lofts Building. Read the artist statement below. This piece was commissioned by the Hopewell Downtown Partnership with funding from the Hopewell Downtown Partnership and Virginia Main Street.
Hopewell is situated in a unique place where the James River and Appomattox river merge. It was an advantageous spot for early industry, which used the rivers for easy transportation. In this design, two local women from different backgrounds (Ariana Calos on the left, and Nherie Tellado on the right) , both daughters of immigrants, dressed in glittering blue are metaphors for the river. Ari wears a greek evil-eye necklace, and gold greek earrings as a nod to her heritage. The merging of two different people echoes the river connection, but also operates as a metaphor for community. Both women have a silk shawl, also a lighter blue, that mirrors the movement of water and serves as a nod to the artificial Silk Factory that used to operate in Hopewell. Behind the women is a scene from the river, showing the industrial buildings of Dupont. The positioning of the factories, being behind the figures, is meant to note that the industry is part of the history of the town, in the past. The figures themselves look up and forward towards a newer Hopewell, which is a diverse creative community striving to work together. Their hair has a crown made up of wildflowers that are native to the area. In Nherie’s hair, plumeria are included as a reference to Hopewell’s famous Hawaiian band. There is a swish of water towards the bottom, which solidifies the river connection at city point, and the tidal river, under the water there is a sturgeon and catfish, which are commonly found on the lines of fisherfolk in the area. A manatee swims in the bottom right, as a nod to the famous few that have braved the river. On the bottom are Virginia tidal botanicals that are local to the Hopewell area, Blue Flag Iris, Mayapple, Magnolia, and a Jack-in-the Pulpit. To round out the botanicals on the top is American Wisteria. To future celebrate the biodiversity of the piece, I have included two songbirds native to the river in the Hopewell Area, The Yellow-Throated Warbler (yellow throat, black and white bird), and Summer tanager (red bird). They are flying upwards to assist in the feeling of hope.
HOPEWELL PROUD by Austin Miles is located at 224 N Main St. This piece was commissioned by the Lamb Center for Arts and Healing with funding from the Hopewell Downtown Partnership and Virginia Main Street.
Hopewell Proud is a piece that embraces the natural beauties and people of Hopewell. Using vibrant colors and energetic movement, this piece showcases the Appomattox River, an eagle, and hands that work together to build the city of Hopewell. All of these elements along with Hopewell’s rich history are what makes this city a special and unique place in Virginia. This piece is a celebration of pride for Hopewell’s past and future. Artist, Austin Miles, invited the community to participate in the mural creation at Lamb Arts’ first Hopewell Arts Fest in October 2019.