Best Local Mural

Readers' Pick

First place:

All City Art Club

Various locations

Second place: Maggie L Walker mural by Colleen Phelon Hall
Third place: Cary Street Cafe
Honorable mention: Richmond SPCA Mural by Nils Westergard

While Richmond has become known internationally for its high-profile murals in recent years, it’s nice to know that local artists are keeping it real with locally made murals in lesser known areas, where the art is helping ease blight and decay.

Founded by artist T. Sparks (Silly Genius) in summer of 2017, the All City Art Club collaborative says its mission is to “introduce street art to underserved communities without the goal of tourism or gentrification.” The organizers, as stated on their website, firmly believe that residents “should not be pushed out of their own communities in order to make a community beautiful.” Amen to that.

“We took notice of the city’s recent embrace of public art and the glaring absence of it in parts of the city that could use it the most,” Sparks told Style.

You can see several of its large, colorful murals in South Side and the group has a GoFundMe page to help purchase supplies, proper transportation and equipment. Sparks and friend P.T. Carroll built up the presence for the initiative over the past few years by contacting property owners and focusing on areas suffering more from urban decay and poverty.

“The total theme of the mural expresses the spirit of woman and how she is connected to universal spirit,” Sparks told Style via email. “Women of color we see as being the ‘god body.’ It is important that women of color be expressed in ways beyond what our western society has shown.”

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