Artist Ed Trask paints mural across Millie’s Diner as part of Route 5 Coalition’s “Take 5” initiative

by | Jun 30, 2015 | ART

Ed Trask has used this city as his personal canvas for years.

Ed Trask has used this city as his personal canvas for years. From painting murals all around Richmond, displaying his work in galleries, to spearheading the first RVA Street Arts Festival in 2012 he’s made quite the name for himself in Richmond.

He’s currently finishing up a mural on the side of Millie’s Diner that he’s been working on with about 20 volunteers from Hands on Greater Richmond for the last three weeks.

The mural shows a multi-colored landscape with a winding road, a bird carrying a fish, a blue heron and a Route 5 post in the forefront.

It’s part of the “Take 5” initiative of the Route 5 Corridor Coalition, a group promoting sustainable economic development on the farmlands along Route 5 which stretches from Williamsburg to Richmond. Route 5, also known as New Market Road, is the country’s second oldest road.

Nicole Anderson Ellis, part of the group behind the Route 5 Coalition sought out Trask to paint a mural.

“She was talking and thought it would be cool to have this as a mural to remind people to go down Route 5 and see how beautiful it is,” Trask said. “What they’re trying to do is keep and preserve the Route 5 corridor as the beautiful farmland that it is, trying to keep it from being overdeveloped.”

Trask went to Hands On Greater Richmond to get local people involved in the process.
“I came to Hands On to say look, I have an opportunity to bring a bunch of volunteers in to fill in some color and engage some folks,” he said.

For this project, Trask said he also took some inspiration from New York artist David Ellis’ mural program, “Barn Stormers” which formed in 1999. Ellis, along with a group of about twenty-five artists, traveled to Cameron, NC where they painted barns, tractor-trailers, shacks and farm equipment.

“David Ellis’ idea was to get a bunch of street artists and have them paint barns and all this stuff in rural North Carolina,” he said. “I loved that model so the idea was to have Millie’s because it’s right before you get to Route 5, be the first art piece.”

Millie’s is also special to Trask because he worked there for 17 years. He said they would let him work there off and on while also working as an artist and traveling to play music, but a few years ago they finally let me go to pursue his art career. He’s been painting murals since 1990 and a full time artist for the past nine years.

“It was the best thing to ever happen in my life,” he said.

Trask added the mural at Mille’s should be completed in about a week.

The 47-year-old has kept himself super busy recently painting a mural for The Bike Project, a mural with Mickael Broth for the Sports Center of Richmond, and an exhibit at Glave Kocen Gallery. He’s also got big plans for the summer.

“I’ve got a couple different mural projects coming up with a group of muralists that we got together, it’s me, Mickael Broth, Matt Lively, Chris Milk, Hamilton glass, Andre Shank and we’re doing a few different projects for Hands On Greater Richmond,” he said.

He said he will also collaborate with Matt Lively, Hamilton Glass, and Greg Leach to paint murals on a four-block wall that separates Belvidere in Oregon Hill soon.

Trask is also headed back to Hardywood for a mural. In March 2014, he painted a large mural that sits in their taproom that tells the brewery’s story.

“Chris Milk and I are going to paint murals all around the grain hoppers,” he said.

Trask said he plans to start on that in about three weeks and hopes to have it done in time for the 2015 UCI World Cycling Championships in September.

And for all those that have attended the successful RVA Street Arts Festival the last few years will be happy to know that the third edition is already in the works and planned for some time in spring.

Trask said this year’s festival will be held at the Southern States silo complex in Manchester and they wil be announcing specific dates soon.

Amy David

Amy David

Amy David was the Web Editor for from May 2015 until September 2018. She covered craft beer, food, music, art and more. She's been a journalist since 2010 and attended Radford University. She enjoys dogs, beer, tacos, and Bob's Burgers references.

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