Nico Cathcart is a painter and muralist hailing from Toronto, Ontario, and currently living in Richmond, Virginia. She strives to discuss contemporary issues in highly-colorful realistic works which often include local flora and fauna. The artist is in the process of going deaf, relying on hearing aids, asl and lip reading to communicate. She often includes birds in her work as a nod to her disability, a subject she addressed in her 2018 TEDTalk. An experienced mural painter, she has worked on walls across the country, Most recently in Wynwood Miami at Art BASEL, Atlanta, Rochester, Birmingham, AL and Memphis, TN. Nico has been shown internationally as far as Bejing, as well as the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and the Hermitage Museum in Norfolk. In 2020, Nico was honored as an Agent of Change for her use of activism in her art by the VMHC. You can find Nico discussing her work as part of the emmy-winning documentary Mending Walls, available through VPM, and PBS nationwide. She will be exhibiting locally at the Contemporary Arts Network in October of 2022,and will be painting in Napa Valley and Memphis in the fall of 2022.
Hi, my name is Tessa Duquette! I was born and raised outside of Burlington, Vermont and received an art degree from the University of Vermont. I said goodbye to the mountains and hello to the beach in 2009. Since then, I have rooted myself in Virginia Beach as an entrepreneur, creative, illustrator, and digital marketing specialist. Along with these professional endeavors, I am a loving mother of three boys. I draw creative inspiration from them and strive to instill a love and appreciation for art. As a local Shadowlawn resident and creative working in the heart of the ViBe, I have been fortunate to see the vibrancy of this arts district on a daily basis and the ViBe’s transformation of the south end of the Oceanfront. The murals in the community have provided me not just with a visually appealing bike commute to work but motivation and inspiration to create my own artwork that brings such joy to passers by. With each blank wall I encounter, I envision the possibilities, and painting a mural in the ViBe has been marinating in my brain for so many years. I now am privileged to have this opportunity, and I look forward to giving back to the community that has provided so much to me.
Hamilton Glass’ career as an artist stems from his architecture and design background. Despite working in the architecture field for 7 years, his passion for public art pushed me to start a career as an artist. Public art has always been a big influence and inspiration to Hamilton, because of its power to influence and inspire the surrounding community. With every opportunity Hamilton is given to create, he tries to convey a message that connects his art to the community. Using his background in architecture, he creates images that reference architectural drafting practices, which are represented in the sharp lines, scale, and balance of the piece. The bright colors and unpredictable lines and shapes are used to convey energy and movement in each piece. Hamilton’s work isn’t just a singular canvas, print, or mural. One of the things he enjoys most is creating multi-layered projects that amplify many voices. In 2020, Hamilton founded two large projects, Mending Walls and All In Together, which were created to address the civil unrest and pandemic raging in our country. This was a way for Hamilton to process current events and share that opportunity for expression with others through art. Hamilton is always looking to use his art as an inspiration and healing tool in the community, as well as being a great example of a working black artist.
I grew up globally living a nomadic and nontraditional life. I finally settled and raised children in Virginia Beach, Va. More recently I left teaching, and decided to make art the central focus of my life. My life experiences left me unable to express much of who I was. Finally, I found painting as a medium to express the profound connection to my interior world. I paint large canvases to help me represent what lies in the unconscious. My work explores the relationship between colors, shapes, and forms, observing the spontaneity of emotions that appear. As a painter, I hope that I can evoke people to respond to their own emotions as they view my work.
Erek Jones, aka Stachesquatch, is a multi-media artist based out of Richmond, Virginia. Inspired by sci-if narratives and rubber hose animation, Erek uses his colorful and wiggly style to depict magical scenes. His work can be found in the form of murals, can labels, t-shirts, digital illustrations, and occasionally, the broad side of a beverage delivery truck. You can follow his work on instagram @stachesquatchdesign.
Hanna Kirby is an illustrator, muralist, and designer from Norfolk, VA. When she isn’t working on her latest creative endeavor she can be found in the kitchen trying new recipes or reading books on culinary history. She is passionate about working and engaging with her community, and using art as a tool for conversation and connection. You can view her work on instagram @hanna_kirby_
Summer Paradiso is a Virginia Beach native and lifetime artist. Using acrylic and mixed media, it is her goal to bring a feeling of unity among viewers of her artwork. Summer loves to use vibrant colors and often creates works using one continuous line—a symbol to imbue a feeling of connection between all. Her inspiration comes from the bond humans create through shared experiences and the resulting love we may feel for one another through this connection.
Paul Santoleri is an award-winning artist known for his drawing installations and his wall-sized paintings found in city streets and public places around the world. He has received grants and awards from the Pollock-Krasner foundation, the Independence foundation, the Santo Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; projects have been funded by the US State department, the Ford Foundation, the NEA, Partners for the Americas, & Cultures France. He has created many social art projects: collaborations with artistic communities and embassies worldwide. He has collaborated often with the MAP, Philadelphia, a world-renowned city public art program. Paul has traveled extensively to make work. He is represented globally in collections public and private.
LEANI THURTON- FEATURED TEEN ARTIST
Leani Thurton is a Belizean American that lives in Virginia. Currently attending as a senior at Bayside High School. Thurton has completed three previous projects in the ViBe Creative District including a community fence panel, parking lot mural and neighborhood identifier mural and had a painting that was featured in MOCA.
Sam’s passion for art comes through in the messages he conveys & the emotions evoked by his work. He enjoys the journey painting takes him on. The biggest reward of this journey is the reaction of his clients when they see the final result of what he has created for them. Creations that include everything from a beautiful mural in a toddler’s bedroom to the wall of a ten story building. In addition to large outdoor murals & residential wall murals, Sam’s work also includes commercial murals, window painting & signs, original paintings on any size canvas, and prints. Sam’s largest work to date is Great America 1, A Celebration of American Heroes, which was painted over a one-month period onto the back of the Flagship Motel. This work was painted as a dedication to honor the men and women who fight to keep America safe.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS - ARTIST AUDIO RECORDINGS