RVA Street Art Festival returns in 2020 to transform ‘the Holy Grail in Richmond’

RICHMOND, Va. – The RVA Street Art Festival will return in 2020 and this time the event will take on its biggest canvas to date – the floodwall on Dock Street in Shockoe Bottom.

The fifth edition of the RVA Street Art Festival will take place April 16-19, 2020.

“This canvas is kind of like the Holy Grail in Richmond,” said artist and organizer Ed Trask in a statement. “The floodwall serves an important purpose, but it is in dire need of some creative and colorful applications and we couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity.”

Acclaimed local, national and international artists will transform the wall into a canvas of mixed-media art – including painted murals, projection lighting, landscape art and more.

The festival will give the community the opportunity to watch in real-time the live art transformation of the concrete floodwall.

PHOTO: RVA Street Art Festival

Previous venues for the RVA Street Art Festival have been the Power Plant at Canal Walk (2012), former GRTC bus depot (2013) and the Manchester Southern States silos (2016), and the Diamond (2018).

This time the festival is partnering with the City’s Department of Public Utilities, who will be tasked with maintaining the murals after the festival.

“We like the use of Richmond’s floodwall to showcase the talent and creativity of Richmond’s art community,” said DPU Director Calvin Farr, Jr. “As a significant piece of Richmond infrastructure, using the floodwall allows us to bring together the tangible and the imaginative – a testament to the direction the city is heading.”

Since the floodwall is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers but maintained by the City of Richmond, the artists who participate will present their proposed work and ideas for murals to the City’s Public Art Commission beginning in November.

The mission of the RVA Street Art Festival is to support local youth art education by raising money and awareness for the community and public school art organizations and initiatives.

Proceeds from the festival will support Richmond Public Schools Arts Programs, the James River Park System, and additional local art programs.

Specific details, a schedule of the event including times and activities, and opportunities for food trucks and local vendors and volunteers will be released later this year on the RVA Street Art Festival’s Facebook page.

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