THE BUTTON PROJECT
The Button Project is an interactive public art experience at an accessible price point that allows all community members to become collectors of local art. Retro gumball machines have been transformed into mini art galleries in public locations throughout our community. For just 50 cents, community members receive a capsule containing a collectible artist button, a bio of the local artist who created the art, and a positive affirmation generated by the community.
Button machines can currently be found at the following locations -
Breez-In Hopewell, 930 Cousins Ave,
Breez-In Prince George, 10101 James River Dr
Hopewell Community Center, 100 W City Point Rd
Hopewell Library, 206 E Cawson St
Aimee Joyaux received her MFA in photography in 1995 and her BA in art in 1985 where she concentrated on drawing and painting. Her work has been exhibited in The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Center for Book and Paper at Columbia College, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Center for Book Arts (NY), and Nexus Press in Atlanta, just to name a few. She is currently a full-time studio artist living and working in a renovated cotton warehouse in Petersburg with her husband Alain and hound dog Oliver.
Austin “Auz” Miles is a rising star in the public art world who lives in the Tri-Cities. 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.
Brenay Brockenbrough received her BFA in Visual Communication with a concentration in graphic design in 2015 and is currently working towards completing her MA in Professional Counseling. Working for the past six years to combine art and mental health treatment in a way that provides enrichment and person-centered healing, Brenay has focused her work throughout the Richmond and Tri-Cities area.
Ed, a Hopewell High School graduate and a full-time artist for more than 40 years, centers his life at the same country crossroads where he grew up - a corner of Spring Grove, Virginia where his great-grandparents opened a general store in 1915. This charming setting is now his studio. Across the street is the house where his father lived, and a stone's throw away is his childhood home where he lives. An acute observer, Ed's home base is that ideal spot for exploration and discovery - whether it's the creeks nearby or the mountains further afield. He gently, yet powerfully conveys his curiosity, finding the extraordinary in the 'ordinary.' Above all, his appreciation for beauty in nature springs from each of his works.
Dr. Lamb grew up in Prince George County and although she established her professional career in NYC she has always considered the Tri-Cities home. She is an artist that likes to express herself through photographs, drawing, dance, and theater. She also enjoys using her creative energy to help her community through artistic events and activities like this one. Dr. Lamb started Lamb Arts in 2016 and hopes you'll join us at one of their events around town soon!
A founding board member and regular volunteer teaching artist of Lamb Arts, Federico Infante now lives and works in the Tri-Cities. Infante was born and raised in Santiago, Chile, and found his way to the United States to pursue his graduate studies in art over a decade ago. Infante is a painter and sculptor who exhibits his work in galleries around the world. He is honored to share this piece inspired by his students in Hopewell and the wonderful light they bring to our community, and beyond.
Joe Jones Jr.
A pioneering entrepreneur, Joe has been busy in Hopewell, from photography and video, to digital art, and running a Barbershop. Joe made Hopewell his home in 2013 after serving in the US Army. He is a native of South Carolina. His piece “Socially Blended” correlates with the current issues of inequality in this country.
Nico Cathcart is a painter and muralist hailing from Toronto, Ontario, and currently living in Richmond, Virginia. She strives to discuss Intersectional feminism and climate change in her highly-colorful realistic works which often include local flora and fauna, as well as the female form. The artist is in the process of going deaf, relying on hearing aids and lip reading to communicate. An experienced mural painter, she has worked on walls across the country, Most recently in Birmingham, AL and Memphis, TN. Her work has been shown at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and the Hermitage Museum in Norfolk, as well as galleries across the continent.
Born in South Dakota and raised in a small town in Texas, Pedro has always appreciated wide, open spaces and small communities. His mixed Korean & Mexican heritage and extensive travel give him great appreciation for culture and family.
Forever a student, explorer, and teacher, Pedro now devotes his energy to visual storytelling through photography.
Teddy Blanks is an Emmy Award winning artist who was born in Hopewell and graduated from VCU in 2006. He now resides in Brooklyn, New York. In 2009, he co-founded the graphic design studio CHIPS, where he creates logos, book covers, and opening title sequences for movies and TV.
Brent is a Navy veteran and self-taught artist who picked up drawing and painting three years ago, as a creative outlet, to balance out his professional background in engineering, biology, and technology. He started creating small-scale "Banksy, street-graffiti-art style" paintings, mostly on canvas and wood panels, but recently has added painting larger murals directly onto interior walls. His multi-step process includes; creating layers of hand-cut stencils from drawings and photographs. From there he uses a lot of tape and spray paint to create each painting. The stencils can usually be used a few times allowing the creation of unique variations of the same piece. A number of his paintings have been selected for display in juried art shows across Virginia.
Daniel, a native of Hopewell, is a portrait and headshot photographer. After living in Europe for a few years, Daniel returned home in 2018 and is an active community volunteer. In his spare time, he also enjoys photographing his travels, as well as Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond, and creating short films.
After raising her children in Prince George County, Elise Iglio felt that she was being called to create art that could benefit people in some way. Some of her pieces are inspirational illustrations. Others have symbolism built into the drawings, inspired by the metaphysical and medicinal properties of flowers. The complementary energies of the flowers combine to give each piece a specific intention and purpose, which may contribute to mindfulness, mind/body/spirit wellness, and self-improvement. Elise's work has been displayed in the Tri-Cities, Richmond, and Fredericksburg.
Erin Ward was a creative and passionate Graphic Designer who graduated from Prince George High School in 2001. She received her B.S. from Chowan University in 2006 and her M.S. from Full Sail University in 2010. Erin loved art, and enjoyed creating eye-catching and unique designs. She spread her light through paintings like this one.
Gee is a self-taught artist from Prince George, VA. She is the owner of A Lil Touch By Gee LLC. Gee has learned that through art she can express who she is, how she feels, and where she wants to be. She feels that her art is a way of giving the world a piece of herself without saying too much.
James "Tripp" Carraway
Tripp was born and raised on the muddy banks of the James River, where his love for the outdoors was born. His passion for photography and the outdoors led to his brand Harvest Shots. It is said that a photograph helps us remember the visual aspects of the moment better. Some of my fondest memories growing up came from hunting and fishing adventures with my father, family, and friends! His only regret over the past 30 years of his outdoor experiences is not having quality photos to share and reflect on. As a full-time photographer, he decided to take what he knows about the outdoor industry and help others capture those memories to last a lifetime!
Lamb Arts Creative Change Makers
The Creative Change Makers are an exceptional group of Hopewell High School Students who work to create community change through creative action. This nomination-based teen leadership program is dedicated to solving community problems and leaving our city better than they found it. The Change Makers created this piece to raise awareness about child abuse prevention in support of Hopewell/Prince George Healthy Families.
Melissa Elizabeth Rivero
Melissa Elizabeth Rivero is a striving and ambitious young artist and recent Prince George High School graduate. Her main goal is to spread awareness of certain issues in the world with her art in a unique and vibrant manner, creating art both traditionally and digitally. She is involved in the community in the form of art commissions, art-related volunteering, her AP art portfolio, and even being the first to win first place in the Congressional Art Competition for Virginia as well as the second place winner of the VSBA Regional Spring Network Forums Art Contest.
Melody is an international award-winning double master photographer located in Petersburg, Virginia. For the last 30 years, Melody has been photographing men, women, and children from all over the world. Not only is Melody a photographer, but also a hair stylist and make-up artist.
Veronica Marie is a Native/Mexican American born and raised in Southern California. She was inspired from an early age by many art forms, particularly Native American art and prison art. Today Veronica is a homeschooling mother of four and a resident of Disputanta, Virginia since the summer of 2017. She continues to embark on living her dream career as a professional artist. Veronica is currently creating her professional fine artist portfolio under the mentorship of the Milan Art Institute. She uses many mediums including graphite, collage, acrylics, mark making, and oils. She loves textures and is enjoying continuing to refine her voice and brand.