Richmond, Virginia was ranked in 2005 as the fifth most dangerous city overall and the twelfth most dangerous metropolitan area in the US. By 2008, it had fallen to 49th. While the city’s rate of major crime, including violent and property crimes, has decreased significantly (47% from 2004-2009) and for many reasons, the city wants to make sure it’s doing everything possible to keep the numbers down. And that includes injecting the city with art.
Headed by Shane Pomajambo, owner of the street art gallery Art Whino, The Richmond Mural Project plans to transform 100 bare brick walls throughout the city into murals within five years. So far, 23 have been completed–most in areas in great disrepair, often with high crime. Pomajambo believes the murals will bring much needed “Feet on the Street” to help local businesses thrive. And if anyone can do it, this enthusiast entrepreneur can. Pomajambo’s Art Whino gallery (located in National Harbor, MD, a good 100 miles away from Richmond) was just named “Best Art Gallery 2013” by Washington City Paper; runners-up included the prestigious National Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection.