New mural planned for downtown

Published 2:58 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Downtown Farmville will soon see the addition of a new mural.

According to Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP) Program Manager John Burton, the mural will be painted on the north side of the Doyne Building, which houses Foggy Bottom Vapez and Farmville Barber Shop.

The building at the intersection of Third and Main streets at the east side of the intersection.

“The work for the mural is being done by Joe Giles,” Burton said. “The design celebrates Farmville as a two-college town and incorporates the Longwood and H-SC seals.”

“It is a mural, but yet it’s also a sign,” said Pam Butler, chair of FDP’s Design Committee.

Butler said FDP chose Giles because he is “an excellent sign painter and artist.”

Butler said Giles collaborated with David Whaley, who works in the design department at Longwood, to come up with the design.

According to Butler, work on the sign began a little over one year ago.

“I think it says, ‘Ra ra ra! We are a two-college town,’ and it’s gonna do it in a very nice way. I think it looks like a historic postcard, but it’s kind of modernized with color,” said Butler. “It’s kind of up to date as well as feeling historic.”

Butler said the mural will be large, covering two stories of the side of the Doyne building.

“You’re going to see this going and coming,” she said. “It’s something that I would like … for us to celebrate. That we are a two-college town and we are a very unique place and we are proud to be that.”

“Both of the colleges contributed funds for the mural which is what made the project possible,” said Burton.

Butler added, “Longwood and Hampden Sydney are paying for it; they’re sharing the costs.” Butler said she’s not yet sure what the final cost of the mural will be.

According to Burton, work on the mural should begin in the next two weeks and will take about one week to complete.

Town Manager Gerald Spates said FDP managed the planning and funding for the project.

Spates said the mural will vastly improve the intersection.

“The town powerwashed the building … They saved us a huge amount of money,” said Butler. “We do appreciate their generosity.”

“Not saying there was anything wrong with that wall, but it just needed cleaning and (I) think this is gonna add a lot to the downtown. I think it’s a good thing,” Spates said.

Justin Pope, chief of staff to Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV, said, “we were pleased to provide some support in partnership with Hampden-Sydney for the mural.”

Pope said the university sees the project as a great opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of downtown and to “help reinforce Farmville’s identity as a great college town, which will help draw visitors here.”

Paul Brammer, director of the Hampden- Sydney Fund, said the college was happy to be included.

“Even though Hampden-Sydney doesn’t sit inside the town limits,” Brammer said, “many of our students, faculty, staff and alumni are involved with different civic, artistic and social organizations that benefit the community.”

Inclusion in the mural represents those contributions, Brammer said.

Spates said the mural will help to showcase the two colleges.

“Public art is an essential part of what makes for a great town,” Pope said, “and Farmville is really starting to come into its own on that front.”

“This is just one of many exciting things underway around Main Street that will come to fruition within the next year or so, and really help us all take a big step forward,” mentioned Pope.