April 15, 2020
City of Reidsville Press Release
Reidsville Contact: Missy Matthews
Market Square / Main Street Manager
The City of Reidsville and Reidsville Downtown Corporation are celebrating the completion of several new public art projects in downtown Reidsville. These public artworks are part of the Project DREAM (Downtown Reidsville Empowering Art Movement) initiative. An official Ribbon Cutting will be scheduled in the summer.
The most recent addition is a colorful mural north of the Reidsville Police Department on a retaining wall at the parking lot near North Scales Street. Gina Franco donated her time and materials to paint the vibrant mural, which features positive phrases such as “Spread Kindness” and “See Good in All Things.”
Gina is a North Carolina-based mural artist. Her work has been featured in many locations, including Greensboro’s “Selfie Wall” near Davie Street and Friendly Avenue, Rainbow Alley in downtown Greensboro, Krispy Kreme Corporate office in Charlotte, Durham Food Hall, and others in Miami, Atlanta and Denver. “I’m thrilled with the new mural and the opportunity to play a role in Reidsville’s rapidly growing public art movement. When I first visited about a year ago, I saw the City not only as a blank canvas from an art perspective, but the overall vibe and spirit of the community was so attractive to me and my work. During these difficult times, I wanted to add some positive affirmations and light to challenge all the negative thoughts that have permeated through our entire society. I’m excited to join Team Reidsville and continue my partnership with the City on future projects!”
Another project, “Abstract Alley,” located at 114 S. Scales St., and was recently completed by Rafael and Raquel Cruz, juniors at Rockingham County High School and founding members of the Rockingham County Youth Arts Council. Raquel is the current President and Rafael serves as Treasurer. Raquel stated “Rafael and I are really proud to add Abstract Alley to Reidsville’s public art portfolio. We want our downtown to be a place that attracts young people and feels alive, and we hope this new art space contributes some additional positivity to our community.”
“Abstract Alley is a fun, colorful addition to downtown,” said Melanie Morrison, vice president of the Reidsville Downtown Corporation and head of Project DREAM. “They have transformed a dark, underutilized space into something bright and magical.”
In addition to the Cruz twins’ colorful mural, eco-friendly, solar string lights have been added to the walkway so the mural can be seen day or night, and other enhancements are also planned for the space.
In the City-owned public parking lot behind “Abstract Alley,” local artist Ruby Blanco has transformed utility meters with a whimsical turtle named “Esméralda” and colorful mandala designs. Ruby is a local tattoo artist and body painter and has also used her talents to paint several fire hydrants downtown.
Reidsville Mayor Jay Donecker said, “Reidsville City Council and staff have put a lot of effort into beautifying our historic downtown. The DREAM project is transforming our downtown into an experience where people of all ages and walks of life can enjoy unique public art in addition to all of the shopping and dining venues already here. For those who enjoy taking ‘selfies,’ our new murals are must-see destinations!”