PAINTING THE TOWN: Female-focused murals help VCU alumna build an enthusiastic following

Headshot of VCU alumna Emily Herr standing in front of a mural.When Emily Herr (B.F.A.’13/A) was a student at the Henrico High School Center for the Arts, she routinely submitted her drawings to class critiques. A common suggestion was to make what she’d drawn bigger — that her work seemed to be bursting at the form, begging for a larger canvas. Eventually, Herr decided that sounded like fun. So she took one of her drawings — one with a surrealist bent featuring a tiny city, a waterfall and a giant hand — and painted it across the wall of her room.

And thus a muralist was born.

Today, Herr’s murals can be found in spaces far beyond her bedroom. Her indelible public pieces in Richmond and across the country attract attention for their artistry and social messages while demonstrating respect and affection for the communities where they are located. In the process, she has forged her own distinctive career path to build a working life — one involving commercial and personal projects — that is uniquely her invention.

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