Onancock to Get Downtown Murals

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A Virginia Main Street sign stands at the entrance to Onancock. Photo by Carol Vaughn.

By Carol Vaughn — Onancock’s downtown will be getting some new, outdoor artwork in the coming months.

Onancock Main Street was awarded a grant from Virginia Main Street, which will pay for the first phase of a mural project downtown.

The first phase, murals on three downtown buildings, is to be completed by spring 2023. OMS is taking applications from professional mural artists, with a July 29 deadline.

Additional grant funds are being sought to expand the project to other downtown buildings.
The goal of the project is “to create a positive experience for visitors and residents in the downtown district,” according to an update from the nonprofit organization.

Cindy Holdren, of OMS, is heading up the mural project.

Holdren spoke with a Post reporter this week about the project.

“We do want to emphasize Onancock’s assets, which to us are the natural environment and water activities; the arts and music; the food and restaurants; the history; its people, past and present; and, finally, the theater, cinema, (and) arts district,” Holdren said.

The three buildings to be decorated in the project’s first phase are the Foggy Place coffee shop (23 Market St.), on the patio side; the old Ford building (20 Market St.), and the former Wise’s Drug Store (53 Market St.).

One idea is to have a mural of a native shorebird, “with kind of a wing effect, kind of taking off on the angel wings” popular with visitors to other areas, who like to take selfies posing with the wings behind them, Holdren said.

For 20 Market St., the concept is to paint three faux windows on the upper story on the right side of the building, where windows now have plywood covering them.

The ground level also would be painted, possibly with a silouhette of someone walking a dog or the like.

For Wise’s Drug Store, which has new owners, the decorative mural likely will be a design printed on a banner, hung on the North Street side, which hopefully would last several years or until the owners make whatever exterior renovations they decide on, according to Holdren.

Other Virginia towns that have decorated their downtown districts with murals include Gloucester, Hopewell, and the Virginia Beach VIBE district, among others.

Plans for additional artwork in a future phase include the Ames Street side of North Street Playhouse, Holdren said.

“We are interested in attracting more business and more customers into town, as well as additional businesses, and just increasing the enthusiasm that people view the town with, both residents and visitors,” she said.

For more information email: [email protected]

The OMS website is www.experienceonancock.com

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