The Art Park, the grassy lot adjacent to the PAAL building at 7 East Old Street, is designed to serve a number of purposes. The Art Park provides a venue for exhibiting sculptures, allowing any area sculptors to showcase their talents in a public venue. The Art Park is the site of monthly free, outdoor concerts during the summer, allowing PAAL to showcase the musical talents of local artists. 

As part of our growing community outreach efforts, PAAL hosts regular seasonal parties and gatherings for children, many of which take place in the Art Park, as the space lends itself so well to children exploring and playing.And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Art Park serves as a space for potential shared experiences where community-building can take place. 

PAAL sees incredible possibility in the variety of uses for this space for the community, and looks forward to sharing the space when necessary for City functions.

Art Park Mural

Mickael Broth’s Artist Statement

This sketch addresses Petersburg’s complicated, but vital, past and looks toward the future. The Primary message is the word “ONWARD.” It summarizes the spirit of the city’s constant progression in the face of adversity. The style of the wording is derived from the traditional style of sign painting that is prevalent on the Petersburg walls. The train is both a literal reference to the rich railroading history associated with the city, as well as a nod to the Underground Railroad, the history of which is tied to many sites in the area. The Appomattox River winds through the foreground cutting across lined land, indicative of trench warfare, a style of military combat that was developed during the siege of Petersburg in the Civil War. The land rises from the river in rolling hills, before reaching the harsh landscapes of the Appalachian coal hills, to which the railroad connects. Local buildings, landmarks (such as the well on Pocahontas Island), and plants (such as Crape Myrtles in bloom and Weeping Willows) dot the landscape and pull the composition together. My hope is that this piece can bring a bit more beauty and hopoe to a place rich in history and potential.