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Three Lynchburg Museums Receive Funding

Amazement Square will complete the mosaic wall with the grant money

July 28, 2010|Karen Kiley | Reporter
  • Volunteers work on Amazement Square's mosaic mural in downtown Lychburg. A grant will help complete the project.
Volunteers work on Amazement Square's mosaic mural in downtown Lychburg. A grant will help complete the project.

LYNCHBURG, Va. —

Only four museums in the state received federal dollars for improvements this year, and three of those are in the Lynchburg area.

Amazement Square's mosaic wall is the largest mosaic mural in the state. To tile the entire 4,800 square foot wall will take seven years. But the end is now in sight, after a grant from the the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

At just 19, Shayna Williams is an accomplished artist.

She sits patiently, despite the heat, for hours every day placing tile after tile on Lynchburg's new mosaic wall.

"You can see the progress when you step back, like yesterday it did not look like that," said volunteer Shanya Williams.

She is one of the many volunteers who have worked on the project since it began in 2005. But like a mosaic, if you step back there is a bigger picture for the kids involved.

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"It has an over reaching goal of allowing the undeserved community members and at-risk middle and high school students to have an avenue to come out and work together on a project. It really teaches a lot of work and life skills," said Megan Rapp, Amazement Square's marketing director.

"I just want to be able to come back and be like "I helped do that" because it's really nice and when it gets completed it's going to look even better. It's just an ordinary wall, but we are making it into some to look at," said Shanya Williams.

Amazement Square received $71,000 towards this project. With that money now in place, it's schedule to be completed by 2012.

The art gallery at Sweet Briar College and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest are the other two museums in the area to receive the grant money.

The Thomas Jefferson Poplar Forrest will use almost $150,000 for landscaping projects.

The art galleries at Sweet Briar College will improve it's collection database with the grant. 

"Truly it's remarkable that three organizations in central Virginia got IMLS at the same time, because you are competing with museums and historic sites all across the country in all 50 states," said Sweet Briar Art Director Karol Lawson.

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