We'll start with an overview of the history of the NEON. Like, why is it sometimes called "Historic Auto-Row?" and "What's up with all the big windows in the storefronts?" Then we'll start off viewing the largest mural in the District, walking up Granby Street to take in the heart of the neighborhood. We'll explore Magazine lane, which is an alleyway peppered with more than a dozen murals. We'll discuss the role of local high school and university students in the public art process, and consume some of their art along the way. We'll learn about the evolution of the NEON, how public art has changed the area, and what's coming next!
Hello! I'm Josh, and I'm the founder and owner of Norfolk Tour Company. We are the official NEON District tour providers for Downtown Norfolk Council, and are here to bring the magic of public art to you! I am a Norfolk native and have been giving tours since 2013. My areas of expertise include local history, local art history, the process of public art curation, historic cemeteries, military history, and architecture. More than anything, I'm a storyteller, and I can't wait to share them with you. Norfolk has a LOT of stories, so strap in folks! We're about to explore the burgeoning NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) District and take in all the fascinating murals and sculpture that pepper the neighborhood.
We'll jump right into the art, viewing the interactive cement mixer/kaleidoscope symbolizing the "foundation" of the NEON. Next, we'll view the geometric mural "Razzle," the NEON's largest mural and one of the most colorful and striking visual sin all of Hampton Roads. Next we'll creep down "legal alley," which is covered in spray-painted graffiti works. We'll discuss the rise of graffiti art and why some local businesses are encouraging it.
We will be walking about 1.5 to 2 miles. Please bring comfortable shoes and water!
Explore Norfolk's freshest street art!