Culpeper Downtown Murals Program

The placement of wall murals will enhance the physical appearance and strengthen the sense of place in downtown Culpeper, while capitalizing on some of our assets: history, architecture, countryside and the growth of an arts culture in our community. Murals have become a unique and appealing way of increasing tourism and improving commerce. This project will enhance downtowns inviting atmosphere for new and existing businesses while enticing locals and visitors to make downtown a destination point. The Arts culture is growing in Culpeper and CRI is excited to utilize this growth and establish professional relationships with talented local artists to enhance the beauty of Historic Downtown Culpeper through building wall murals.

The goal for this project is to pictorially preserve and celebrate the art, history and culture of Culpeper while increasing the charm and character of our town for residents and visitors alike. We will take pride in:

  • Promoting economic development by increasing tourism, business and tax revenues, and property values
  • Inspiring and energizing our town and uniting our community, organized groups, and businesses by encouraging participation from all ages and walks of life
  • Beautifying our streets
  • Create a greater appreciation of the visual arts and our historical roots while establishing the face and identity of Culpeper

“The Surveyor”

The first mural of the Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. (CRI) Culpeper Downtown Walls Mural Program was completed on Friday, August 25, 2017, by artists Tom and Kerri Mullany of Mullany Art Studios. Located at on the wall at West Cameron and Main streets, “The Surveyor” features George Washington, the surveyor, in a larger than life form. In addition to CRI’s fundraising efforts to complete the first two mural installations of the program, CRI received a matching Downtown Improvement Grant by Virginia Main Street and the Department of Housing and Community Development (Downtown Improvement Grant) in the amount of $5,000.

“Yowell Hardware Co. Historic Signage”

The second mural of the Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. Culpeper Downtown Mural Program was completed on Friday, June 8, 2018, Walter W. Burton of Reva, VA. Walter used his talent and experience of 28 years of fine art endeavors including the study and practice of hand lettering and hand painted commercial graphics in public and private spaces to preserve, refresh and revive painted Historical Signage on brick building facade located at 195 East Davis Street, in historic downtown Culpeper . The updated signage is refreshed for all to enjoy while keeping the historic and vintage look.

“The Trailblazers”

Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. (CRI), Windmore Foundation for the Arts, and Culpeper downtown property and business owner, Brian Lam, partnered for the placement of the 3rd mural installation of CRI’s Culpeper Downtown Walls Mural Program.

Partnering organizations, community members, town and county representatives, and family and friends of those depicted in the mural, gathered to celebrate the completion of “The Trailblazers” mural by local artist and freelance illustrator, Layton Scarbrough on Sunday, June 12, 2022. “The Trailblazers” mural can be found at 254 E. Davis Street in historic downtown Culpeper.

As these figures came to life through Mr. Scarbrough’s work, the location of ‘The Trailblazers’ mural, on the 200 block of East Davis Street, is what makes this mural complete. This area, once referred to as The Wharf and Fishtown for the Friday and Saturday fish fries, housed a thriving African American commercial and residential community post-Civil War.

In addition to Mr. Scarbrough’s vision, many other hands played a part in bringing this much needed mural to fruition in Culpeper Downtown. Brian Lam, owner of Collage Spa, stated “community, art and history are part of our Collage Spa brand values. We are so happy to collaborate with CRI and artist, Layton Scarbrough, on the mural project. The mural highlights and honors key African American Culpeper leaders. It makes their legacy visible and gives a sense of place for the present and future.” Mr. Lam, in part, was able to play a key role in the mural project after applying for and being awarded a $2,500 Culpeper Downtown Micro Marketing Leverage Grant, a partnered program through the Town of Culpeper Tourism and Economic Development, Culpeper Renaissance, Inc and the Virginia Main Street program through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. In addition, CRI and Windmore Foundation for the Arts allocated additional funding for mural expenses.

Culpeper’s African American citizens that made a significant impact on our community:

  • Henry Lightfoot, Culpeper’s first African American town councilman, as well as owner and operator of Lightfoot’s Grocery in the building where the mural is located
  • Elijah Barber, Culpeper’s first African American physician
  • Ruby Beck, female owner and operator of Boxwood House Restaurant and Motel
  • Roscoe Ford, Culpeper’s first African American police officer
  • John Preston “Pete” Hill, a Culpeper native and talented baseball player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006
  • Ella Drumgoole, the first female police officer in the Town of Culpeper
  • A single soldier from the United States Colored Troops, representing the approximately 120 African American men who left Culpeper to join the Union Army.

“A Song to Share”

The fourth mural of the Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. Culpeper Downtown Mural Program was completed on Friday, October 19, 2023, by local artist and freelance illustrator, Layton Scarbrough.

A Song to Share depicts a woman standing in the wind surrounded by and releasing cardinals. She wears a flower crown made of Virginia’s state flower, the dogwood. The mural is meant to signify that we all have a song to share with the world, whether it’s our talents, our passions, our voices, or our actions. Just as cardinals sing their songs without fear or hesitation, so should we. 

Culpeper Downtown Art in Public Spaces Program: Power Box Murals

CRI received approval from the Town of Culpeper and the Architectural Review Board to allow CRI to implement the Culpeper Downtown Art in Public Spaces – Power Box Mural Project. Local artists were sought to aesthetically enhance the Culpeper Downtown district. Signal box cabinets are found throughout downtown, and the CRI Design Committee is looking to implement moments of artistic discovery by placing murals on power boxes with works of art by local artists.

CRI solicited proposals from artists, by way of a Request for Proposal (RFP) that was open to all 2-D artists including graphic designers, illustrators, painters, and photographers within 50 miles of the Town of Culpeper. The submitted designs were original artwork.

Five proposals by five different talented local artists were selected by the CRI Design Committee.  The power box murals are located along major corridors of Main, Davis, and Evans Street of the downtown district and completed Summer of 2024.

“A New Day Dawning” by Holly Thelin

Holly Thelin states “My mural highlights some of the beautiful wildlife you can see on lakes and rivers around Culpeper. I loved getting to paint the very animals that inspired me to have a career in animal conservation. I am very grateful for the opportunity to contribute to my wonderful hometown and for all the support I received while doing so.”

“Welcome to Culpeper”- Savannah Corbin

Savannah states “As I drive along these country roads, I catch a glimpse of something simple, but familiar. “Welcome to Culpeper”, a sign that fills my heart with love and surfaces as a soft smile.

For as long as I can remember these signs have reminded me just how welcoming Culpeper is. Born and raised in Culpeper, I know this town inside in out. From the charismatic shop owners to the hard-working farmers, all the way to the dedicated community, Culpeper strives to stand tall and welcome all. Culpeper has always welcomed visitors with open arms and huge hugs. Whether you’re just stopping by or looking for a new home, Culpeper has a little something for everyone: it could be as simple stroll down Davis Street or a hike through the captivating mountains in the valley. But I guarantee the next time you see that sign “Welcome to Culpeper” sign, you too will have a smile, just like I do.”

“Blue Ridge Mountains”- Katrina Tines

“My mural box is representative of my favorite Culpeper view – the sun setting over the blue ridge mountains.” Staes Kat Tines

“Virginia’s Majestic Subtlety”- Crystal Burnham


“My powerbox design, “Virginia’s Majestic Subtlety,” focuses on the quiet beauty found in Virginia and the Culpeper area. Each side features a different item and color with a simple background pattern. My family and I have the common goal of visiting each Virginia state park. This design is just like visiting all the different parts of Virginia. Each side is unique and has something different to view and enjoy just as each park protects a beautiful feature of the state for all of us to explore. Just as the dogwood blossom, our state flower, shows off it’s beauty with only four petals, my design takes a simple approach to showcase Virginia’s beauty.” States Crystal Burnham 

“Daughter of the Stars”- Layton Scarbrough 

“This powerbox was one of my favorite projects I have had the chance to work on. The community support, generosity, and overall enthusiasm made this an incredible experience. 


When I first envisioned the design, I knew that I wanted to highlight some of the wildlife found around Culpeper, as well as the beautiful Shenandoah National Park. I learned that “Shenandoah” comes from an Algonquin word that roughly translates to Daughter of the Stars. I felt that a black bear would capture this essence, while the vibrant reds and oranges of cardinals would harmonize with the blues and purples of both the bear and the night sky. 


I am so grateful to everyone who stopped by while I painted, yelled out praise from their car, offered me water, or simply waved or honked. Your kindness is what made this project so special.” States Layton Scharbrough

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127 West Davis Street
Culpeper, VA 22701

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