Downtown Reidsville Art Tour - Walk It or Drive It - You Won't Be Disappointed
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is just one of the many inspirational messages you’ll find along this uplifting art tour through Reidsville, NC.
The City has made a commitment to its citizens to invest in public art installations. Project DREAM (Downtown Reidsville Empowering Art Movement), is funded by the Reidsville Downtown Corporation and has contributed several projects over the last few years with many more planned for the future. So far the results are both inspirational and beautiful.
Now, get in the car and enjoy this driving art tour.
Make sure your phones are charged as it is packed full of Insta worthy pics.
1. See Good in All Things (2020) - Artist: Gina Franco
Location: Police Department Parking lot, just south of 156 N Scales St.
Funding: Gina Franco
Artist Gina Franco explored Reidsville just when Covid-19 was starting to appear in the United States. To encourage positivity and remind us to “Spread Kindness” and “See Good in All Things,” Franco donated her time, talent and materials to create this inspiring and hopeful mural for the entire community. She transformed the retaining wall north of the Reidsville Police Department from a neglected wall into a message of positivity for our community.
2. Lift Me Upwards (2019) - Artist: Mary ED Ryan
Location: 204 W. Morehead St. (Rockingham County Public Library)
Funding: Private Donors. Jacob Adams Commercial Maintenance and Landscaping donated services for the landscaping of the area, and Big Apple Farm Supply donated landscaping materials.
The “Lift Me Upwards” mural includes brightly colored wings with a quote from Plato: “Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” The design of the mural allows visitors to step into the wings to take selfies and photos at the site. Don’t forget to tag us in your pics @TeamReidsville or #ReidsvilleArt
3. Tobacco (1938) - Artist: Gordon Samstag
Location: 230 W. Morehead St. (City Hall) - Open Mon-Fri from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Funding: Treasury Section of Fine Arts funds
The mural “Tobacco,” hangs in Reidsville’s City Hall, a building that formerly served as the city’s post office. It is a powerful manifestation of the rich farm heritage of Reidsville and the most prominent crop grown in the area during the early 1900s.
Artist Gordon Samstag taught at the South Australian School of Art from 1961 to 1970. Born in New York on June 21, 1906, he was educated at the New York Art Students League and the Académie Colarossi in Paris. His art is widely displayed in the United States, including murals in now heritage-listed buildings in Scarsdale, New York, and Reidsville. The Samstags moved to Florida in 1976 where Anne died in 1987, and Gordon in 1990. The Samstag Museum of Art at the University of South Australia (UniSA) is named in honor of Anne & Gordon Samstag.
In “New Deal Art in North Carolina,” Anita Price Davis notes that Samstag’s contract for the Reidsville mural was for $1,600. An article in the Reidsville Review (May 2, 1938) observed that the painting depicted the harvesting of tobacco with a “tobacco pack barn” in the background. The scene “was laid at G. E. Crutchfield’s farm near here.”
4. Budding Future (2016) - Artist: Jim Gallucci
Location: 100 S. Scales St. (traffic circle at Scales / Morehead)
Funding: The Reidsville Area Foundation partnered with the City to fund the $68,000 sculpture, providing $30,000 towards its design, construction and installation.
Following a rigorous “Call for Arts” competition, artist/sculptor Jim Gallucci of Greensboro was selected by the Artist Selection Panel. After a community forum, Gallucci added the historical elements to the side panels of the 17-foot tall brushed stainless steel art work, reflecting the City’s new growth rising up from its historical past. The work was installed in April 2016.
You can view more details about the different historical elements incorporated into the sculpture by following this link to an online brochure: Download Brochure
5. Esmeralda (2020) - Artist: Ruby Blanco
Location: 120 S. Scales St - In parking lot behind Kelly’s Way
Funding: Project DREAM/Reidsville Downtown Corporation
Ruby Blanco wanted to cover utilitarian utility boxes / meters to provide a much more creative look to an otherwise cold, but necessary items in downtown Reidsville. Utility/meter boxes are often eye sores throughout a downtown, but by bringing a fresh and colorful perspective to them Ruby has turned them into works of art that attract attention.
6. Abstract Alley (2020) - Artists: Rafael & Raquel Cruz (students)
Location: Alleyway at 114 S. Scales St.
Artist(s): Rafael and Raquel Cruz, juniors at Rockingham County High School, and founding members of the Rockingham County Youth Arts Council.
Funding: Project DREAM/Reidsville Downtown Corporation
Two students at Rockingham County High School wanted to “activate” an unused alleyway in downtown with art and lighting. Their idea was to transform this commonly used path between buildings into a welcoming work of art that almost moves visitors forward as they walk through the alleyway.
7. Kelly’s Way (2014)
Location: 120 S. Scales St
In the early 2000s, then-Reidsville City Manager Kelly Almond had many goals for the City, among them revitalizing the deteriorating Reidsville downtown area.
The alley was once occupied by a drug store and a grocery store, dating back to 1908, but the buildings burned down in a fire in the 1960s that affected numerous downtown buildings.
It was decided that the alley would be converted into a small park that could serve as a pathway between downtown Reidsville’s free parking lot and the downtown shops, restaurants, and Market Square. Kelly’s Way has something you don’t find in most downtowns, a waterfall! Bring your chess pieces or checkers and play on one of the tables by the waterfall! You can also get pieces from the Chamber if you don’t bring with you.
Recognized for excellence in the 2014 N.C. Main Street Awards competition. ”Kelly’s Way” was a winner in the category of Best Outdoor Space Improvement.
8. Greetings from Reidsville (2018) - Artist: Mary ED Ryan
Location: 139 S. Scales St. (on south wall of building, facing Gilmer)
Artist: Mary ED Ryan: https://www.medryanart.com/about
Funding: Provided by a generous private donation as well as support from the RDC.
This welcoming mural represents a vintage “Greetings from Reidsville” postcard design. The mural showcases a number of Reidsville’s most iconic landmarks and has already attracted visitors from all over the region. This was the first public art project organized by Project DREAM.
9. Mural Park (early 1990s) - Artist: Mark McInnis
Location: 208 S, Scales St.
Funding: The mural was initially a fund-raising project headed by the Chamber, which raised $38,000 to cover expenses for the mural. The Chamber received the land from the heirs of Kearns Thompson and Stewart Melvin. The Chamber, in turn, later donated the property to the City of Reidsville for the project.
The mural was completed in the early 1990s by artist Mark McInnis. It is the main feature of a small park located in the heart of downtown Reidsville that contains a number of plants and trees, concrete sitting areas, and a beautiful Verdin clock. The mural depicts some scenes from Reidsville’s history, including Governor David Settle Reid’s house, the Civil War Monument that once stood at the intersection of Morehead and Scales Streets, the railroad, and the American Tobacco Company.
In 2006, after more than a decade of slow deterioration, the City wanted to ensure the mural’s survival. Tate Construction restored the structural integrity of the walls the mural is painted on, while Rockingham County muralist Kitty Williams repainted it. Today Mural Park is a focal point of the downtown, serving as a centerpiece for holiday festivities and local
10. Brick Works (various) - Artist: Brad Spencer
Location: 303 South Scales St. (Market Square) - 201 N. Washington Ave. (RCARE) - 618 S. Main St. (Annie Penn)
You can see numerous examples of Brad Spencer’s artwork throughout North Carolina and other states. Reidsville is blessed to be the home of Brad’s studio and lucky to feature the largest collection of his public art in one place.
The brickwork Brad designed includes a musician with his guitar, as well as a woman with a basket of fruit. The brickwork surrounding the entrance to Market Square depicts all types of people and activities that take place at Market Square.
Interesting tidbit: The artist and his wife are depicted in the art work as well. Can you find them? Funding for this artwork was donated by HomeTrust Bank (then Home Savings Bank).
Reidsville Center for Active Retirement (RCARE):
The brickwork designed for our Senior Center encompasses all elements of life in Reidsville. It showcases activities that active retirees enjoy, not only at the RCARE center, but throughout the city.
Annie Penn Walking Trail:
Annie Penn Foundation funded this walking trail project to give the community, as well as hospital workers, a place to relax, exercise or take a quick break from work. Brad’s artwork creates a beautiful and inviting sign at the beginning of the trail to welcome guests.
11. Quilt Squares (2017) - Artist: Darlene Holoman
Location: 303 South Scales St. (Market Square)
Funding: City of Reidsville
The quilt squares at Market Square were designed and painted by local artist Darlene Holoman. These two representations of Reidsville are part of the county-wide Quilt Trail. The squares depict elements from life in Reidsville: football, trains, the clock downtown, the Penn House, tobacco, farming, and the historic bank building. Market Square is the community gathering place for events, concerts, movies and festivals in Reidsville and also features the brickwork of local artist Brad Spencer, mentioned below.
12. Fire Hydrants (2018 -2019)
Artist: Various: Featured Middle School Students Eleanor Matthews and Christian Pruitt
Location: Throughout Reidsville. Featured: Dalmation is at the corner of S. Scales and Williams (402 S. Scales) and Reidsville Rams is at the corner of S. Scales and Settle (304 S. Scales)
Funding: A multi-step and multi-year collaboration. In 2018, Lowe’s Home Improvement donated the paint and other supplies. For the second step in 2019, RDC funded project supplies, and also received a donation from Councilman Donald Gorham. All artists donated their time to the project.
Did you know that the color of the top of the hydrant tells the fire department the hydrant’s water pressure? The Reidsville Fire Department painted all the tops of the hydrants to make sure it was coded correctly.
The entire community submitted designs for the hydrants. Some hydrants were painted by professional artists, some by teachers, some by students. The youngest painter was six years old.
The idea was to dress up downtown on a small budget. The hydrants cost a very small amount of money to complete, but made a big impact on the look of the downtown streetscapes. To date there are 24 painted fire hydrants. Can you find them all?
13. Mosaic (2013) - Artist: Teresa Phillips
Location: 618 S. Main St - Annie Penn Hospital Walking Trail
Funding: Annie Penn Hospital Foundation - Funded together with Brad
Spencer’s brick sign mentioned above at #10
Local artist Teresa Phillips was commissioned to create the beautiful mosaic pictured below. The artwork piece creates a space for meditation and relaxation and is surrounded by various plants and landscaping that add to the calming environment.
14. “Reidsville R” (2019)
Location: 1474 Freeway Dr (Intersection of Freeway Dr and Richardson)
Funding: City of Reidsville
The “Reidsville R” was placed on Freeway Drive a major corridor through Reidsville. It’s made with colored poured concrete. The design is part of Reidsville’s marketing campaign and you will find “R”s in a few places in Reidsville. Tag Team Reidsville in your post and show us how many you were able to locate.
Walking Tour Map
Most of the art pieces are in walking distance from downtown and a few that you can quickly drive to as well. Follow our art directory map below and share your Art Tour Adventure!
We hope you enjoy our interactive street art gallery. You can download a printable brochure of this tour to take with you by clicking here.