The Williamsburg Public Art Council recently voted to select the mural design by artist Silas Baker for Midtown Row after a bid process earlier this year.
In partnership with Midtown Row, Baker has been contracted with the City of Williamsburg to install the mural on the exterior of the Food Lion located at 1242 Richmond Road. The wall is circled in the graphic below.
Baker’s design, Papilio Glaucus, features the state insect, the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly. After a career as a tattoo artist for many years, Baker decided to pursue a full-time profession in fine art and murals in 2020. His artworks can be found throughout the Hampton Roads region, including the interior of Precarious Beer Hall in Williamsburg.
"We are thrilled to partner with Midtown Row on this next phase of the Williamsburg mural project," said Robert Currie, chair of the Williamsburg Public Art Council. "Artist Silas Baker's design celebrates our natural surroundings with brightness and color. This is an exciting step for advancing public art initiatives in the City of Williamsburg that inspire exploration and community engagement."
A second mural is planned for a larger wall alongside the Food Lion. Designs were submitted earlier this year; however, the WPAC could not reach a decision. The RFQ was reissued with updates, most notably including an increased budget. The submission deadline is Nov. 2, 2022.
Established in 2021, the Williamsburg Public Art Council is composed of nine members, including representatives from City boards and commissions and two community positions. As stated in the WPAC ordinance, exterior murals are only allowed for installation in the B-3 zoning district, also known as Midtown.
Through its public art program, the WPAC wishes to celebrate the City’s past, present, and future with public art; enhance the City’s identity and economic vitality by encouraging people to spend more time in the City engaged with public art; and highlight and enhance the beauty and unique character of the City.