Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

In 2012, the Richmond Virginia Art Community joined with national street artists to create murals on the flood walls along the James River Canal (media coverage is here and here).  Because it was on the path I walked during lunch, I had the opportunity to watch as it was being created and later, the final product.  I’d never gotten around to posting these before and thought they’d be perfect to share for this week’s photo challenge on scale.

You get an idea of the scale of this project here:


Maybe this one gives you a better idea of how huge these murals were.  My sister took this picture of me last spring when she came for a visit:

DSC01891 Blog

Here are some of the finished murals:

The “James” written on the wall is a reference to the James River, from when it was polluted and smelly.  It’s tremendously improved these days (thankfully).

The murals are still there.  Each year since they were done, the city has added murals in other places.  It’s purpose is to bring art to Richmond, cover up blank walls, and show off the arts.

There were other noteworthy things the day I took these photos.  A woman was walking two baby goats along the canal with a leash and collar, just like the many dogs that walk there.  I wasn’t the only one to stop and pet them and they created quite a buzz.  In a corner by the murals, a growing collection of memorabilia was left.  It contained all kinds of things, from clothes to eyeglasses to a clock.  I’m not sure what its purpose was, but over the next few weeks it got bigger and bigger.  After a few rains, someone (probably the city) cleaned it up.


In general, the murals highly creative and quite complex.  Some of it was tactless and tasteless (little kids walking by do not need to see naked boobs).  That’s not a surprise.  Everyone has a different idea of what is good and proper.  While most of the artists worked in teams, one artist had his young children help paint the bottom of his mural.  I enjoyed watching them – the kids were enthused to help Dad and their Dad seemed to be enjoying the time spent together.  It took the artists a long time to finish their portion of the flood walls (I think at least two weeks for most of them).  It’s certainly distinctive and worth seeing if you ever come to Richmond, Virginia.

To see how other photographers interpreted the word “scale”, click here.

Brown's Island Richmond Virginia Weekly Photo Challenge

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.

33 Comments Leave a comment

  1. They are great shots and awesome art work. It would have been cool to spend time there watching them go up. lol at the lady walking the goats… not something you see everyday :-D -Dee

    • Thanks Aquileana! Also, I saw your recent post. I don’t remember if I left a comment or not (I might have been on my iPad), but it was interesting reading. I’m amazed at the work you put into them and the history you share. Thanks for the time and effort!

  2. That mural you were standing in front of was beautiful! It is not everyday that you see someone walking their goats in a city! I recently started watching The Incredible Dr. Pol, I never realized how many people kept goats as pets!

    • I would think goats are difficult pets with how they like to get out of enclosures and wander around. Of course, on a city lot it doesn’t matter for me! Three dogs are bad enough.

      I’m glad you liked the murals.

  3. Gorgeous photos Nancy. an important lesson in scale. My sister lives in Virginia and I will be coming from Australia to visit her in August this year. I would love to check out the murals. Where are they located?

    • Anna – they are on the canal walk along the James River on Brown’s Island. Specifically, they are near the Troutman Sanders building, 1001 Haxall Point in
      Richmond. The opposite side of the canal has Casa del Barco, 320 S 12th St. If you’re on the backside of Casa del Barco, you can look across the canal and see them (there are also two bridges there you can cross by). The Troutman Sanders building has public parking (about $3 / hour) which would be easy to access everything.

  4. The murals are beautiful. So colorful! It was nice to see all that color on this gray day, and they were a great choice for showing scale. The goats are so cute. :)

    • Thanks Robin! I never got around to sharing those pictures and when my sister took that one of my last spring, her comment was “look how tiny you are next to that mural!”. The challenge was a great way to finally show those off. And yes, you’re right – the goats were cute!

  5. Hi Nancy! Fabulous photos of our fair city and its impressive street art. I have been compiling photos of my own for a post someday and interestingly enough, none of mine are here. That goes to show just how many are in the city. The one you’re standing in front of is possibly my favorite of all. Absolutely gorgeous. And about the boobs, it’s an interesting cultural difference. In Europe, they are everywhere – topless sunbathing in the parks, artwork, front pages of tabloids – and little kids couldn’t care less.

    • I’ve noticed that about our blogs too – we may live nearby and post about the same things, but the pictures are not the same!

      You raise a good point about the boobs. I am a bit prudish about that, but you’re right, for most people it’s not a big deal, including children. Thanks so much for sharing that and reminding me of that.


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