• Man Painting Mural on Metal Wall

    Community of One

A Community of One

The Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department and the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation are excited to announce the completion of public art murals, "Community of One," the first installment of the "Brushworks" arts employment program. The murals were designed and installed by Housing Resource Center (HRC) residents in collaboration with professional artist, Nadd Harvin, and volunteers.

In lieu of a formal unveiling ceremony, a documentary of the project premiered on Cultural Affairs' Facebook and YouTube channels, Facebook.com/VirginiaBeachArts and VirginiaBeachTV .

In summer 2021, Cultural Affairs and Housing and Neighborhood Preservation partnered to launch "Brushworks," a new pilot program that provides an opportunity for individuals experiencing homelessness or who are formerly homeless to gain employment and work with professional artists to create socially impactful public art throughout the city. Through the program, candidates were also connected to employment resources to improve their job readiness, such as applying and interviewing for jobs.

"The crew really took charge of the design as an outlet to tell their story. I'm so honored to have been a part of Brushworks and to help them grow their skills and love of the arts," said Harvin, lead artist and muralist. "I'm extremely proud of the team and pleased with how the murals turned out. It was an amazing experience."

The pilot program's first project was the creation of shipping container murals with the theme, "Community of One," which reflects a shared vision in Virginia Beach toward making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring, and aims to reinforce the City's culture of diversity and inclusivity. The shipping containers are located at the HRC, 104 N. Witchduck Road, and will be used as additional storage for the facility.

"(The end of September 2021) marked three years since the Housing Resource Center officially opened for services. The team effort behind Brushworks really embodied the same 'Community of One' spirit that helped make the HRC possible," said Ruth Hill, Homeless Services/HRC administrator. "The artwork is a fitting tribute to all those who have experienced homelessness and the many partners that have touched their lives along the way. We are so excited to celebrate this special milestone with the completion of these beautiful murals and to share the artists' voices with the community."

"Brushworks" was made possible through a grant from the VB Home Now foundation and the generosity of their supporters, including TowneBank, Ferguson Cares, and IKEA.

Lead Artist Bio:
Nadd Harvin is a self-taught painter, muralist, and art instructor whose work exists as a testament to the process of both their art and life. Their work has become increasingly centered around the creation and manipulation of time and space, as a means to explore dreams, memories, escape, self, and similar themes. In a world where rest and self-indulgence can be hard to come by, especially in many disenfranchised communities, Harvin's work hopes to communicate the sometimes radical nature of escape, self-preservation, and awareness.