In the past few years, Fredericksburg has established itself as a premiere destination for art enthusiasts, as well as artists themselves. First Friday has provided guests with the perfect opportunity to view the local galleries, and events such as last week’s Pottery Throwdown by Sophia Street Studios involve the art community even further. But a trend that has recently emerged is the painting of gorgeous murals in Fredericksburg.
Before Adrian Silversmith opened Sprelly, his gourmet peanut butter shop, he always had a vision for an outdoor mural with wings. He knew that the sides of his building would have room for art, and felt that wings would not only draw guests to take photos in front of the mural, but that the mural itself would look gorgeous and powerful. Thanks to local artists Leslie Caliri and Jeannie Ellis, Silversmith’s vision has recently come to life. While it is not complete just yet, Silversmith is thrilled with the piece of art. He had a clear idea of what he wanted painted on the side of Sprelly, and credits Caliri and Ellis entirely with the gorgeous product.
“It really does showcase the community involvement,” Silversmith said.
The wings are actually not the first mural painted at Sprelly; there is another one on the opposite side of the building. Along with her middle school students at Art Time for Kids, Claire Ellinger painted the initial mural in May of 2021. Having loved the endeavor so much, Ellinger decided to work with her students to paint another mural. A few weeks ago, she and her students completed a mural on the side of the soon-to-open Littlepage Animal Hospital. Ellinger believed the project was perfect for middle schoolers, as dogs and cats are painted throughout the mural. Wanting their vision to be displayed for everyone to see, Ellinger painted the sketches that they worked on in her class. She is excited that they have ownership of the mural, and wants to continue this tradition every year.
“I think I got kids involved in art that might not have normally,” Ellinger said. “I think I’ve started a tradition.”
Ellinger is already looking for the next wall in Fredericksburg that she can utilize for another mural. Silversmith, too, believes that these projects should not be the finale of murals in the city. He hopes that murals, particularly in the Canal Quarter District, continue to be created. The murals are a shining example of how Fredericksburg has grown in its art scene, and we cannot wait to see what other gorgeous pieces emerge in this city.
You can find Sprelly’s mural at 1501 Princess Anne Street, and the Littlepage Animal Hospital’s mural at 712 Littlepage Street (Across from Sunken Well Tavern).