Artist: Richard Nickel
Material Used: Enamel Paint
Location: Town Center Block 4 Parking Garage
The Virginia Beach Development Authority, in partnership with the Town Center Advisory Board and the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs, engaged local artist Richard Nickel to create one‐of‐a‐kind murals on three interior walls of the Block 4 Garage at the Town Center of Virginia Beach. These murals are the first murals in Town Center.
“We are excited to see the first of hopefully many, vibrant, colorful murals in the Town Center of Virginia Beach. This project contributes to the beautification of Town Center and demonstrates the City’s resourcefulness and commitment to the arts by using otherwise utilitarian spaces as blank canvases, and transforming them into true works of art,” stated Jeanne Evans‐Cox, Chair of the Town Center Advisory Board.
Nickel’s murals are bright, colorful and welcoming to visitors to the Town Center of Virginia Beach. His three designs are based on one central stylized theme, unified by bold, graphic shapes, painted in an almost “retro” color palette. The artist likens his design to the open credits of vintage cartoons.
About the Artist
Nickel is an active artist and Associate Professor at Old Dominion University and has been published in several Lark books on ceramics, including 500 Tiles: An Inspiring Collection of International Work, 500 Animals in Clay, 500 Figures in Clay and 500 Bowls. Nickel has been also awarded several grants from Old Dominion University for research in education and ceramics, including a Faculty Innovator Grant, Summer Research Fellowship and the Service Learning Mini‐Grant.
He is better known for his ceramic works, however his public art can be recognized in the ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach and Neon District in Norfolk and as far away as Rochester and Niagara Falls, NY. Nickel’s work is characterized by its colorful, symbolic, and whimsical style. His work is mainly figurative, with characters depicted in everyday routines and of friends gathered together. All are joyful and live in a world where there is perpetual promise and hope.