Roanoke is in a state of renewal — but that state’s not reflected in the fading murals that have adorned its public walls for decades.
Florida native and Grandin Village resident Mim Young, a dynamo who’s passionate about Roanoke’s art scene, saw this as a problem to tackle and took it on herself.
“I felt that it was time that Roanoke updated its image through its imagery,” she said.
In 2011 she visited Miami’s Wynwood Walls, a former dilapidated warehouse district that turned into a tourist destination after a developer purchased buildings and allowed them to be covered with curated murals.
Her hopes that something similar could happen in Roanoke were heightened as the city went through the process of creating its Arts and Culture Plan, unanimously adopted by the city council that same year. The plan provided a blueprint for a resident like her to get actively involved and bring about the changes she wanted to see.
In Roanoke, “there’s a sort of a renaissance thing that’s happening,” she said, citing the efforts of developers and entrepreneurs Bill Campbell and Ed Walker. “We don’t have the same visual vitality that I feel we have economically.”