Three Winners Announced in Recreation Center Mural Vote

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The public survey results are in! The Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs and Parks & Recreation sought out local artists to propose painted mural concepts for Bayside, Great Neck and Princess Anne Recreation Centers. The proposals were narrowed down to five finalists, and the public was asked to vote for their favorite mural. Over 2,800 people voted online, and the three artists with the most votes are Rosemarie Spracklin, Aimee Bruce, and Navid Rahman. Rosemarie Spracklin will paint her mural at Great Neck Recreation Center, Aimee Bruce will paint hers at Princess Anne Recreation Center, and Navid Rahman will paint his at Bayside Recreation Center.

Rosemarie Spracklin is a Virginia Beach resident who has painted murals for Elixir Sensory Gallery in Hampton and at nonprofit creative art studio, Utopia Feni in Virginia Beach.

"My idea originates from relatable experiences of my attraction to continuously live here — the ocean. My father was a ShellBack Sailor, and in dedication to him, and for those who serve(d), I immediately thought of a turtle, as it is depicted in Neptune's hand at our oceanfront's renown landmark off 31st  Street. I used to pretend to be a mermaid, myself, whenever I swam at the recreation center."20190116-CO-011CA-RosemarieSpracklin.jpg

Aimee Bruce of Norfolk painted the "Helping Hands" mural on the stairway at Mount Trashmore last year. Bruce also has murals in Norfolk's NEON district and in Portsmouth, and was co-creator of the 2018 Nauticus Magenta Line Pier Mural.

"When I was a kid, I had a membership to the old Kempsville Recreation Center. I remember the excitement of meeting new and familiar faces along with the enjoyment of being physically active. If chosen, I hope to create something that can inspire others to go the extra mile in their endeavors."


Navid Rahman is a Norfolk illustrator with murals in Norfolk and Richmond. Recent exhibitions include the NEON Festival, Norfolk Emerging Leaders, and the All in Group Show at Fortune Teller in Richmond. 

"The rendered illustration represents the flow of guests visiting the recreation center — giving it a whimsical walkthrough. The colors mimic the reflection of the pool found across from the lobby. I'm trying to keep the image connected to the area and the community this recreation center serves without using any particular person(s). As a past member of the Princess Anne Recreation Center, I have fond memories of coming to the center specifically to use the basketball court and to swim in the pool with a diverse group of neighborhood kids."


All three murals will be painted during the same timeframe — from March 1-14, 2019.

The role of the Office of Cultural Affairs is to develop the vision and direction of the cultural arts in Virginia Beach, assist and direct the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, coordinate the city's Public Art Program, provide contract management for the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, serve as the liaison with Virginia MOCA and the ViBe Creative District, and serve as a resource to local arts and humanities organizations. Follow @VirginiaBeachArts on facebook and @VaBeachArts on Instagram.

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation strives to promote healthy lifestyles and protect the City's coastal environment, as well as to ensure all residents – regardless of their physical, social and economic circumstances – can access Parks & Recreation programs. The department's vision is to be the national leader in providing enriching and memorable lifelong experiences. Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, visit or call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay). Sign up for Parks & Rec email newsletters at Find us on Facebook at

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