RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – On the steps of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, you’ll find a list of affirmations – one reads: “Together we can listen to and uplift our neighbors.” That’s the idea behind the new project entitled “All in Together VA.”  

Two local artists, Hamilton Glass and Matt Lively, came up with the idea during the pandemic when they felt the community was losing a sense of connection.  

“Talking, communicating, and being creative together is a hard thing to do right now, so this is a medium and vehicle for them to do that,” Glass said.  

The idea is that everyone can participate in the collaboration while staying physically apart. You go to the allintogetherva website and download a coloring book page. Each person colors a page adding their own unique twist to it and submits it back to the website. Glass and Lively then combine each picture to make a bigger mural.  

Currently, two of the murals hang on the exterior of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.  Once schools reopen, they plan to hang the murals in schools throughout the city. 

“I love seeing them all come together again and seeing all the weird ideas that comes with the sheets,” said Lively. “I love it.”  

The artists said they’ve received nearly 4,000 submissions, mostly from children, but the project is open to everyone in the community, regardless of age.  

“This project is a good medium not just for visual art, but for writing and poetry and expressing yourself,” Glass said.  

Lively added, “I think the more brains you get involved in the project… the more interesting it becomes.”  

Both hope the community gets a sense of unity when they pass by the murals in the City of Richmond.  

“I think art is a language that we all speak that goes beyond words, so hopefully they see themselves in this project.”