Public Art Project

Bass Fiddles

The City of Galax has launched its first phase of Public and celebrates this initiative with nine six-foot bass fiddles, cast in fiberglass, decorated by individual artisans.  A national Call for Art was launched last spring with over 32 entries received from as far as Florida and Texas.  Proposals were on display at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, located in downtown Galax.  Community members and visitors alike placed their People’s choice votes to determine the nine winners.

The Call for Art requested proposals for individual interpretation of what makes Galax and surrounding areas special, unique and meaningful.  Proposals varied in theme and design including, but not limited to, a quilt motif, traditional old-time and blue grass musicians, the internationally known Old Fiddlers Convention, The New River, trains,  and so much more.  Most proposals included direct painting on the fiddles whereas others including two of the winners included stained glass and printed images of hand drawn pencil renderings of musicians and scenes representing the Appalachian culture.

With over 2,000 votes received, the top nine artists’ winning entries were then contracted  to realize their proposals.  All nine fiddles have been completed and are display at the main building of The Chestnut Creek School of the Arts located in downtown Galax at 100 North Main Street.  The Fiddle Project includes a total of twelve bass fiddles that, once complete, will be permanently installed at public locations around the City of Galax this Spring.  The Galax Public Schools are painting two fiddles to reside on school property and the last remaining fiddle has been partially funded from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and is being painted as a collaborative project with a variety of resident, students and artisans working together on a final design.


Public Art Project

Grayson Street Mosaic Mural

City of Galax Public Art Committee announces plans to install the City’s first Mosaic Mural.  A Conditional Use Permit was approved by the Planning District Commission and subsequently unanimously approved by City of Galax Council.  The Mosaic Mural will be installed at the Grayson Street Stage located in the parking on the 100 block of West Grayson Street, downtown Galax, highlighting plaques already existing commemorating the Downtown revitalization project.  The Mural will depict local flora and fauna all framed within a fence-like setting.

Mosaic is an art-form consisting of different colors and sizes of both glass and ceramics mounted with grout in between to make very colorful that will last a lifetime.  The City of Galax Public Art Committee had established a Mural Task Force consisting of Committee Members Becky Guynn and Chris Pollins, as well as local Public Art artists Todd and Gloria Price and CCSA Stained Glass Instructor, Nikki Pynn.  The group toured downtown Galax identifying possible locations for City beautification and unanimously agreed to this location and mural style.

Chris Pollins, Chair of the City of Galax Public Art Committee and Executive Director at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, shared her enthusiasm for this project.  “This project is funded through revenues generated from a previous Public Art Project, so I feel great leveraging City funds as good steward of this aspect of the City’s growth and cannot begin to describe how excited we are to launch beautification in this way, both commemorating our history and celebrating our future”.

One aspect of this project includes Community Involvement.  Members of the community are encouraged to bring broken ceramics, glass, pottery and even buttons to CCSA to be part of this mural. “Bring something that is broken that you keep for sentimental reasons, a broken tea cup of your grandmother’s, for example” says Nikki Pynn.    Donated material should be delivered to CCSA’s main building located at 100 North Main Street.  Monday- Friday 9-5, Saturday 11am-3pm.  Deadline for delivery is Saturday, July 8.These items will be collected and prepared for installation.  Community members are encouraged and welcomed to participate in installing these recycled treasures on Saturday, July 22 noon to 3:00pm.

Public Art Project

Public Benches

GPAC installed 10 metal benches with custom-designed backs featuring “The Best Pick in Virginia” logo and musical notes to replace the deteriorating wooden benches around the downtown area. Locations were chosen as part of a walkability/livability initiative undertaken in 2015.

Naming Rights were sold for the benches resulting in $6,000 back to GPAC funds. All but the 3 benches have been named, and GPAC is dedicating the last 3 benches to commemorate those who have served on the Fire Department for the bench at the GVPD, in honor of those who have served on the Police Department for the bench at the Public Safety Building, and in honor of the Galax Moose #733 for their longtime hosting of the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention at the Rec Center/Felts Park bench.