It’s easy to recognize a city’s vibe when there are vibrant murals adding pizazz to downtown buildings and neighborhoods. We may be biased, but we’d say the Star City is fairly lit.
As you drive or walk our downtown and historic neighborhoods, watch for these murals. Take a photo of them or in front of them. They’re pubic art and we’re happy to share their beauty with you.
Even beyond Roanoke, Virginia’s Blue Ridge offers unique art murals in Rocky Mount, Salem, and other destinations. It’s time for an artsy road trip!
Greetings from Roanoke
In the vintage postcard feel, “Greetings from Roanoke” is a mural depicting recognizable landmarks in each of the letters spelling “Roanoke.” From the iconic Roanoke Star to The Hotel Roanoke, it’s a fast introduction to or great reminder of Roanoke. The piece is located on the side of the RAMP Regional Accelerator building on Jefferson Street across from Elmwood Park in Downtown Roanoke.
Dale Avenue SE Community Mural | Roanoke
The community-painted mural on Dale Avenue SE brightens an otherwise drab retaining wall. Toobz, a well-known artist, designed the mural while a paint party of community members brought it to life. We see Virginia’s Blue Ridge beautifully depicted in the mountain landscape.
Gateway Mural | Roanoke
Eighteen pylons beneath a 581 overpass are now decorated with wrap-around murals designed by Brenda Mauney Councill, an internationally acclaimed artist who sought the brush strokes of residents to complete the project.
Parkway Brewing Company | Salem
Every day is a bright, sunshiny day inside Parkway Brewing Company. Their indoor mural takes care of any gloominess the day may have carried before you walked in and ordered a flight of craft beer. Once you've checked out the mural, grab a seat in front of the fireplace or head outside and enjoy the gorgeous patio space.
Toobz | Roanoke
One artist has painted Roanoke a little more frequently than others. You’ll find the work of Toobz (Scott Noel) in several locations, and each piece has a supporting story.
In Grandin Village, look for “The World is a Village” depicting the diversity of Roanoke. Under an overpass near the Taubman Museum of Art, look for “In It for the Long Run,” a personal statement about his career.
“Humanfacturing” suggests success when small and large businesses work together, and you’ll find it on the side of a self-storage warehouse in the Wasena neighborhood. On the same building, see “The Great Heron,” a reminder to remember nature as we “humanfacture.”
In what may have stunned some mural lovers, Toobz was commissioned to paint over his “Whimcycle” mural to create a new piece, “The Phoenix.” The old Water Heater building has new life as The Phoenix, a music venue for up-and-coming musicians and bands to battle their way into FloydFest, an iconic multi-day summer music festival near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Therefore, the new mural matches the new business. “The Phoenix” rose in early spring 2017.
Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage | Roanoke
Roanoke artist Jaimie Phillips created a mural for Side Stage, a concert area that accompanies the new Starr Hill Pilot Brewery at The Bridges in Roanoke. Featured are the mountains, the Roanoke Star, wheat stalks, chickadees, a musician, and a suitcase full of tricks.
Storm Drain Murals | Roanoke
Keep an eye out for murals painted on six storm drains around the City of Roanoke! The Roanoke Inlet Art Project is an awesome new initiative by the City of Roanoke Stormwater division meant to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our waterways and the role it plays in preserving the natural beauty of Virginia's Blue Ridge. Each piece of art features a water-inspired design.
Main Street Bridge Mural | Roanoke
If you’re accustomed to seeing graffiti-laden concrete bridge supports, you haven’t seen the arches of Wasena Bridge. Main Street runs atop the 1938 bridge and Winchester Avenue sneaks beneath. It is there beneath the bridge that you’ll find “Beautiful View,” a double mural depicting bits and pieces of the best parts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Bobby’s Hot & Cheesy | Roanoke
Roanoke’s newest pizza joint boasts skateboard art rather than a mural, but the fact that skateboard decks made our article about murals speaks to the breadth of their collection. Repeating columns six decks high line the wall and sets the vibe for this on-trend but not trendy “solid salad, pizza, beer & sangria place.”
The Grainery | Rocky Mount
You won’t be able to miss the vibrant mural that adorns the two-story building in the bend of Franklin Street at High Street in Rocky Mount. Bright and fun, it’s your first indication of the beautiful art within. Not only will you want to stop to get a better view of this baby, but you’ll want to meet the artisans inside.
* BONUS *
An upcoming event - Open Studios Roanoke – is a self-guided tour of 29 artist’s homes and studios. Peruse for free with your favorite art lover April 28 and 29. Children are welcome.
Map of Locations
Not all art is found in a museum or gallery, though we have our fair share of those, too. Train your eye to see not only our commissioned murals, but also our industrial art and statues. Art is all around in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.