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NEON calling for new art to refresh unique signs this spring

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk’s NEON District is known for big bold murals on buildings, but a new call for digital art will allow artists that work in smaller scales to make a big splash on the streets downtown.

“Digital submissions can be photography, it can be art you make on an iPad or an iPhone, in photoshop, it can be a photo of a painting you’ve made,” Downtown Norfolk Council’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Rachel McCall told WAVY.

The art will go into two unique neighborhood signs.

“They’re secured, they’re stuck to the sign so they shouldn’t go anywhere,” McCall said.

That’s important after what happened in February. Someone stole 15 of 20 large banners displaying digital vinyl prints on the fence surrounding the old Greyhound bus station in the district.

Last month we talked with Tony Burgess, the brother of artist Carl Burgess who died shortly after his work was displayed there.

Tony told us, “It would mean a lot to the whole family — I just hope that somebody would bring it back, you know, just for us.”

The artwork is still missing. The remaining pieces came down a couple of weeks ago.

McCall said with this new call for art, “We want to give local artists a direct access to the NEON.”

There’s room for two pieces in each of the signs. That’s four opportunities for art, though one has already been awarded to a local artist, Carl Medley. His piece “Excuse Me For Living” took the judges prize in NEON’s shine a light exhibition which runs through April 17.

Artists can submit up to six designs here for a $10 entry fee. If needed, contact [email protected] for a reduced or free entry.

The winner will receive $100 and the pieces will remain on display for two years.

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