Richmond man maps city murals: 'There is so much to see'

Posted at 9:03 AM, May 22, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Blake Casavant is setting out on a solo scavenger hunt.

"I expected this to be a few hours. But this has taken like 100 hours of my time,” Casavant said. “There are a lot of side roads I would never have taken before.”

A different treasure awaits around every corner.

“It’s overwhelming to be honest," he said. "This has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve had in years."

The 35-year-old wears out lots of leather scouring sidewalks and alleys.

“I’ve definitely done a lot of walking," Casavant said. “The murals around here have blown up.”

Richmond's murals put the city on the art world's map. Now Blake is mapping the murals, creating an interactive site listing the locations of hundreds of creations from Carytown and Carver to Manchester and the Museum District.

“There are 10 murals within a block of my house so that is where the idea came from," he said. “I don’t think you could pass down Main Street without seeing this.”

The VCU grad is an engineer by trade and admits to not having an artistic bone in his body. No matter how off the wall he appreciates each one. The funkier the better.

“No two are the same," Casavant said. "They all have their little flair to it. Their own special touch. Some of them are very hilarious.”

Casavant said his map complements these days of physical distancing.

“I think this is the perfect thing to get out of the house. There is so much to see," he said.

The digital project is evolving with descriptions and thumbnails to be added soon. Documenting the murals comes with an unexpected benefit for this River City native.

“It has allowed me to see Richmond in a whole different way," he said. “It is one of those things I will remember forever.”

Blake Casavant is an urban explorer showcasing the work of artists who use Richmond as their canvas.

“They go largely unappreciated and I guess this is my way of saying the city actually appreciates all of your work,” he said.

Check out Blake's Google Map of murals here.

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