Wasena Mural

Wasena Park Mural Installed

Roanoke, VA – The City of Roanoke dedicated the latest addition to its public art collection today, Sept. 19, in the Wasena Neighborhood: A mural co-sponsored by the Roanoke Arts Commission and the Wasena Neighborhood Forum.

A Request for Proposals was issued in February 2014 for artists to submit examples of their past work and concepts for a mural that would reflect the spirit of the Wasena Neighborhood. Eleven artists responded to the RFP. A selection panel of citizens which included Wasena Neighborhood representatives, two local artists and Arts Commission members chose artist Jared Bader of Philadelphia Pa. to create the mural.

Bader, a freelance artist and muralist, holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and an MFA from the Memphis College of art. He has worked in conjunction with the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia and numerous community organizations, corporations and schools to create public murals throughout the city and across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Highlights include working with the entire Milton Hershey School student population to create a mural detailing the 100-year history of the school and an 85-foot conceptual mural about Abraham Lincoln for the Mural Arts Program and the Lincoln Financial Group.

Bader also has created murals for private, corporate and university clients, working with such organizations as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Temple University and Franklin and Marshall College. While creating murals he also works as a freelance fine artist and graphic designer. He chose the title Beautiful View for the mural as it is the translation of the word “Wasena” in Native American.

“The themes for this mural are focused primarily around the Wasena Neighborhood, the Greenway and local flora and fauna,” says Bader. “To abstract, fragment and splinter these images I overlaid maps of the Wasena neighborhood, the Roanoke River and traditional architectural house plans typical of the neighborhood, including foursquare and craftsman houses. The result enabled me to fragment and alter color based on their position underneath the maps and architectural plans. In addition to the flora depicted in the line art/ sketches I was also intrigued by the fact that a missile and numerous trains used to be stationed underneath and nearby this bridge. I wasn’t interested in fully rendering these images but wanted to acknowledge this fact by sketching them into the mural composition.

James Settle, President of the Wasena Neighborhood Forum and a member of the selection panel states, “The passageway under the Wasena Bridge has been kind of dreary and dingy for as long as I can remember. Now you can see it from all the way down Winchester Avenue, as it pulls your eye through the space and beckons you to venture further. It's like an extension of the Greenway now. I especially like the artist's use of bright colors, natural representations, and icons from Roanoke's history, the rocket in particular."