Arts & Entertainment / Local

Free NEON District Art Tours begin April 19 through NEON Festival in October

Downtown Norfolk Council has partnered with Norfolk Tour Company to offer free monthly walking tours of the NEON District April through October. The tours explore the District that now has more than 87 pieces of public art and a multitude of local businesses that make up the neighborhood fabric.

Art installations include murals, statues and lighting from works by nationally celebrated visual artists like Esteban del Valle and HENSE, to local heroes like Carl Medley III and Hannah Kirkpatrick, to the world-renowned Chrysler Museum of Art.

Each tour also highlights a NEON District business or partner, which provides tour attendees with a special experience or promotional offer.

“We want to welcome new visitors through these tours,” said Rachel McCall, special projects manager with Downtown Norfolk Council. “We hope it creates a relationship with our businesses and repeat visits throughout the year.”

No RSVP is needed to join the tour. Facebook event pages offer more information and tour details.

“Each tour will be a little different, and we are working with the local businesses to offer after-hours access, refreshments or product samples,” said Joshua Weinstein with Norfolk Tour Company. “For April 19, visitors will enjoy a talk about the Chrysler Museum of Art’s The Torchbearers statue in addition to an after-hours tour of the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio.”

These popular tours started last summer, and participants include locals and tourists. One group included professors from China who were visiting Old Dominion University.

Norfolk Tour Company was founded in 2018 by Joshua Weinstein, who has spent years crafting tour programming of Norfolk’s historic cemeteries, the Chrysler Museum and the NEON District. In addition to local walking tour programs focusing on history, public art, architecture and food, Norfolk Tour Company also provides tours, step-on guides, escorts and tour assistants to out-of-town groups visiting Norfolk. For more information, please visit toursofnorfolk.com.

Norfolk’s first official arts district, NEON (New Energy of Norfolk), is home to long-time cultural institutions like the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House as well as studio-based ventures like d’Art Center and the Rutter Family Art Foundation, all providing artists a place to make, create and show. Within a few short blocks you can see a muralist at work, take in an improv comedy performance at Push Comedy Theater, watch a live glass-working demonstration, shop for unique home goods, get a tattoo or dine out at an eclectic restaurant. Learn more at www.NEONNFK.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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