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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Old Dominion University to Co-Present NEON Festival on Oct. 17-18

By Joe Garvey

Old Dominion University and the Business Consortium for Arts Support will present the NEON Festival in Downtown Norfolk's NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) District on Oct. 17 and 18.

Celebrating its fifth year, the free festival features art exhibitions, local and national performances and mural tours. Since 2015, the festival has provided a platform for more than 300 artists and performers through dozens of art exhibitions, community programs and events tied to the annual celebration.

Confirmed ODU programming includes:


  • Rhythm Project (ODU & Virginia Arts Festival program) on the lawn at the Chrysler Museum of Art, 5:30 p.m.
  • ODU Brass Choir performance at the Hague School, 7:30 p.m.


  • Art display by Rick Nickel, associate professor in the Art Department, and ceramics students at The Neon House, 6 p.m.
  • 3D printed art exhibition presented by ODU's VMASC (Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center) and Artist in Residence Joshua Solomon at local tech business Amplified IT, 6 p.m.
  • + company Presents The Garden of Secrets (student dance), Copeland Center, 6:30 p.m.
  • ODU Student Dancers: Neither Lost Nor Found (James Morrow), Plot main stage, 7 and 7:30 p.m.
  • Poetry readings from ODU's Writers in Community at the Copeland Center, 7:15 p.m.
  • Sculling: A Moving Sculpture (Megan Thompson), Magazine Lane, 7:30 p.m.
  • ODU student Axel Rasmussen, Cofer Lot, 7:30 p.m.

Also on Thursday and Friday, the Norfolk Tour Company will conduct mural tours. Natalia Pilato, assistant professor in the Art Department, will give a short talk at the Neighborhood Markers site at the beginning of the tours. On Thursday, Big Blue is scheduled to walk the grounds and greet people and ODU plans to have a roaming photobooth lady taking sharable photos of folks.

A full list of exhibitions, events and entertainment is available at www.neonnfk.com/festival.

The festival is produced by the Downtown Norfolk Council and the Chrysler Museum of Art and Glass Studio. Beer is provided by O'Connor Brewing.

Contributing sponsors include Dominion Energy, Morris Williams LLC, Rose & Womble Realty Company, Rutter Mills, Sway Creative Labs and Work Program Architects. Friend sponsors are Ann P. Stokes Landscape Architects, MacArthur Center, Maxx Potential, TCC Real Estate Foundation and VisitNorfolk. Mural support was provided by Bob's Gun Shop, Homeland Contracting, Norfolk Southern Foundation, Within Interior Design, Inc., and the Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown.

Norfolk's first official arts district, NEON, 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. Learn more at www.NEONNFK.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @neonnfk.

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