THE HOPEWELL BILLBOARD PROJECT
Austin 'Auz' Miles is a painter and community artist/activist in Richmond, VA. Her work often features the narratives of Black women, while using vibrant colors and textures. Hopewell has a special place in Austin's heart for it is the home of many of her family members and where her mother was born and raised. "It was an honor to paint about Hopewell, a city home to many that I love and have shaped me."
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, as well as creating short films. Daniel created this photograph with model, Jasmyn (Photography student at VCU), in the Appomattox River to coincide with his 'Black Rose' series.
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 rural 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.
Growing up in the Tri-Cities, Hopewell has always been Eliza Lamb's downtown. As Lamb, established her professional creative career around the country her hometown always seemed to call her back. She attributes her return to the area and the establishment of Lamb Arts, in large part, to the amazing people she met while creating these portraits. She is so grateful to the talented artists listed here for sharing their gifts with our community.
A founding board member and regular volunteer teaching artist of Lamb Arts, Federico Infante cares deeply for the City of Hopewell. Infante was born and raised in Santiago, Chile and found his way to the United States to pursue his graduate studies nearly a decade ago. Infante exhibits his work in galleries around the world and is honored share this piece inspired by his students in Hopewell and the wonderful light they bring to our community, and beyond.
Joe Jones Jr.
A pioneer for entrepreneurs, Joe has been busy in Hopewell. From photography/video, digital art, and a Barbershop. He feels “Hopewell have the potential for so much more and I want to be a major contributor“. Joe made Hopewell his home in 2013 after serving in the US Army. He is a native of South Carolina. Joe uses his art in a way to recreate reality. His piece “ Socially Blended” correlates with the current issues of inequality in this country.
After living in major cities throughout the world, I have been compelled to revisit the small town Texas roots of my childhood by way of visits to other small towns in America. The hope is to better understand both myself in my adulthood and America in its current state.
One morning in 2018, I found myself in need of a sunrise. A quick study of a map for a good spot led me to the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers. I jumped on my motorcycle and headed toward a quiet morning of self-reflection. I didn't know it at the time, but that trip to see the sunrise on November 2, 2018 at beautiful City Point would be the first of countless trips I'd make to Hopewell, VA, which quickly became the first town in my Small Town America project.
Though the sunrise on the river brought me to Hopewell, the history and the people and places that make up the community spurred me to learn more and keep me coming back. I’m grateful to the community of Hopewell for welcoming me as an addition to their community.
This project would not be possible without the generous support of Lamar Advertising Company and CultureWorks Richmond.
From October 2020 to March 2021, Seven artists with a heart, heritage, or home in Hopewell presented their interpretations of the community they love in an immersive city-wide public art exhibition.