FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15th, 2021
(Hopewell, VA) – On 4/20/21, join visual artist Austin Miles, her family, and friends for the official “reveal” of her public art piece “Hopewell Proud” at 224 N Main Street. The Lamb Center for Arts and Healing (Lamb Arts) commissioned artist Austin Miles to paint a Hopewell-inspired work using funds provided by the Hopewell Downtown Partnership’s Virginia Main Street “Downtown Investment Grant”. Community members contributed to the mural at Lamb Arts’ Hopewell Arts Fest in October 2019 by painting the foundation of each of the 4 wooden panels. Most recently, one of Hopewell Proud’s four panels was also featured in Lamb Arts’ Hopewell Billboard Project.
Austin “Auz” Miles is a rising star in the public art world and lives in the Tri-Cities. She has always had local ties to Hopewell through her mother, who was born and raised there. Miles is an alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCU), receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2017. She uses color, texture, and distortion to embody her own stories and to contribute to the conversation about Black female experiences. She has shown work at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and the Jamestown Settlement, and has also painted many vibrant, uplifting murals throughout Richmond's city. Miles has also shown her work in North Carolina, Washington D.C., Atlanta GA, and Cusco, Peru.
Austin has this to say about the work,
"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."
Partners in this project, both the Hopewell Downtown Partnership and the Lamb Center for Arts and Healing are delighted that Miles’ community-inspired and community-painted mural is setting the tone for future public art projects in Downtown Hopewell. Nico Cathcart, an accomplished studio artist and muralist, recently collaborated with Miles for the “Mending Walls RVA” project. The Hopewell Downtown Partnership has also commissioned Cathcart for a Hopewell-centric piece using their remaining grant funds.