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Artist inspired even before getting the job begins Barracks Road wall work

by WINA

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CHARLOTTESVILLE (WINA) – The artist chosen to paint a lasting mural on the huge concrete wall at the westbound bypass exit onto Barracks Road says he had already done a bit of a sketch before anyone even thought of commissioning someone to paint a mural on it. Chicho Lorenzo is an artist who has painted several large murals in the area, but he’s also a Spanish teacher at Free Union Country School. He enthusiastically says he passes by that wall everyday on his way to work, and one day he just did a small sketch of something he’d paint there… never knowing it would actually be done. So when the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative was enlisted by Albemarle County to choose an artist for a permanent design on the wall, he said all he had to do was finish up the sketch a bit and submit it.

Lorenzo says it’s a design of columns and windows. The columns are those who “support” the community… those who initiate leadership. The windows are the things they open up for the community through their actions.

He says he’s using acrylic paint he has been advised by paint experts will be best to use. It dries about 20-to-30 minutes after application, so it will not wash away. He anticipates it will take about 2 weeks to get the project done. So far, Lorenzo says he has been painted alone, but will be joined Saturday morning from 9-to-noon by some UVa art students. He says they will color in the figures, but will be able to do so by designs of their own choosing.

Although Lorenzo says he has been painting alone… he says he really hasn’t. He says it’s a busy off-ramp and he gets people shouting encouragement all along which constantly energizes him.