If you’re new to The BIG Road Trip – all the information can be found on this page. Curious how this series came about? Find the ‘why’ in this first announcement post. All BIG Road Trip posts can be found archived here.
If you have state-related art, stories and inspiration to share or if you made art inspired by this blogpost, ADD YOUR LINK TO MR. LINKY LIST AT THE END OF THIS POST.
I am looking for GUEST BLOGGERS to blog about different States in America (find the list with States and schedule here.) These guest posts do not have to be as extensively written as mine and preferably give more personal and artsy insight and info about the state/region. Info that is interesting for an artist to know, like pointing out local art shops and little galleries et cetera. Also, I will be available to help you with tips, search for images and add extra inspiration if you need me to. Email me at bigroadtrip[at]maritspaperworld[dot]com if you’re interested!
I made a change in the BIG Road Trip blog series – see above text!
“Come on, come on down, sweet virginia
Come on, honey child, I beg of you…”
~ Rolling Stones ~
While packing my suitcase you can hear me humming this song… oh yes, I’m heading to Virginia next and I’m looking forward to travel with a form of transportation that I’ve always had romantic ideas about…
… a GREYHOUND BUS
“Founded in 1914, Greyhound Lines, Inc. is the largest provider of intercity bus transportation, serving more than 3,800 destinations with 13,000 daily departures across North America. It has become an American icon, providing safe, enjoyable and affordable travel to nearly 25 million passengers each year. The Greyhound running dog is one of the most-recognized brands in the world.”
This text is from the Greyhound website and they are right when they say the logo is famous… even here in Europe a lot of people recognize that running dog.
… soooo, a Greyhound bus will take me to Virginia this time. Pack your bags if you want to come along, and I’ll meet you at the busstation…
While on the bus, let’s take a look at the map of Virginia.
Oh, hey, look, there’s the welcome sign at the side of the road already! It employs the state bird, the cardinal, and the state tree and flower, the dogwood.
Now that we crossed the state border, let me tell you some facts about Virginia.
Virginia was given the title “Dominion” by King Charles II of England at the time of The Restoration, because it had remained loyal to the crown during the English Civil War. The present moniker, “Old Dominion” is a reference to that title. The other nickname, “Mother of Presidents”, is also historic, as eight Virginians have served as President of the United States*
*Ha, I see a little quiz here: can you name all eight presidents that came from Virginia? The answer can be found at the end of this post.
Now I won’t bother you any further with all sorts of historical facts, if you are interested in that, you can find a lot of information on Wikipedia or on www.virginia.org The latter is a website I loved poking around and I found out that the title of that website also is the State slogan – don’t you love it?!
Next, I explore the cultural and artsy side of Virginia… what has the State to offer when it comes to fine and performing arts?
“Though rich in cultural heritage, Virginia ranks near the bottom of U.S. states in terms of public spending on the arts, at nearly half of the national average” I read. Now that is disappointing, isn’t it? I figure the state must have SOMETHING to offer so I hunt down some more information.
I am surprised to find out the state has some sort of opera tradition. In Norfolk we find the Harrison Opera House.
I also found the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.
The exhibition called “Pop Art and Beyond” sounds interesting but the museum also houses a permanent collection of more than twenty-three thousand works of art from almost every major world culture, including Art Nouveau, Art Deco, French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, British sporting art and Modern and Contemporary American art. I guess there’s something for every art-lover!
Also, right now, The Virginia Arts Festival is taking place. There is a lot to read on that Festival website but strange thing is: I cannot seem to find where (in which town) the festival is. Anyway, I had to giggle when I read “Unforgettable Tattoo Experience” and these kind of images came to mind…
… but it turned out “Tattoo” referes to this…
(In Dutch “taptoe”) So it had nothing to do with ink and needles after all.
Next is a photo of the theater/podium in the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
The park is located in Vienna and it is the only national park intended for use as a performing arts center.
Lots of performances and concerts are given here and I would love to walk through the park, sit in the Spring sun and listen to music. Do I sound like a flower-power-child already? OK. I confess. I am. Anyway, you can find all the info about upcoming events HERE
Now that we are somehow in a flower power mood anyway: I was very surprised to find a town called MANASSAS on the Virginia map! To me, Manassas has nothing to do with a town and all the more with music. If you are from the flower power era, you will agree and probably recognize this album cover too.
A band and a town in Virginia with the same name… now that got me curious – so I went online and surfed the Internet again. Aha!
“The band christened itself Manassas after Stephen Stills, who had an interest in American Civil War history, orchestrated a photo shoot for them in Manassas, Virginia, the site of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run (1861 and 1862, respectively). The band’s first album Manassas, a double-LP sporting a cover photo from the shoot in Virginia, was released in May 1972.”
This album is one of my favorites and I found the full album track on youtube.
1:12:25 – and so worth listening!
The state of Virginia is also famous for it’s flowers – there’s blossoms and bluebells all around in Spring and I cannot leave without naming it and linking you to the official website for the CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
When it comes to photos of the Blossoms and Bluebells, I know an artist/friend in Virginia who happens to also be a huge nature lover: Patty Szymkowicz ~*~ who blogs at Magpie’s Nest
Patty pays the Bluebell forest a visit every Spring and has also written posts with photos of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Click the links to be directed to blogposts with photos that will have your jaw drop.
As you see, even though Virginia does not spend much money on art, it still has a lot to offer and it seems like a very inspirational State to me! Let me give you some hints to start…
When you see the ‘inspiration logo’, it means that there will be some tips to spark your imagination and get creative.
Soo… what does this Virginia blogpost bring that you can use as jumpstart to get creative?
Here’s some topics followed by, of course, a bunch of songs/lyrics. Enjoy!
- Virginia – the (girls’) name as well as the state
- Transportation – Greyhound Busses
- (Welcome) signs and/or symbols
- Opera / Opera houses / Theaters
- Tattoos (both kinds 😉 )
- Manassas (town – rock band)
- Flowers – Blossom – Bluebells
- Songs about (greyhound) busses
Greyhound – Married Monk (lyrics)
Greyhound – Harry Chapin (lyrics) (I’d never heard of this musician
before – he sounds a bit like John Denver and I happen to like it…
ha, am I a “flower-power-country-cowgirl” then?!)
Greyhound – Bullets to Broadways (lyrics) (Very short PUNK song,
only 0:38 – that’s enough for me though!)
Backseat Of A Greyhound Bus – Sara Evans (lyrics)
Liquor Slicked Highway (greyhound busriding man) – G.G. Allin (lyrics)
and one last bus-song… BEWARE, this one stucks in your head…
The Wheels On The Bus (this is an anonymous United States folk song
dating to the mid-20th century. It is a popular children’s song, particularly
among pre-teens, in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and
is often sung by children on bus trips to keep themselves amused.)
- Songs about Virginia
Virginia is for Lovers – Jordin Sparks (lyrics)
Meet Virginia – Train (lyrics)
Sweet Virginia – The Rolling Stones (lyrics)
Virginia Bluebell – Miranda Lambert (lyrics)
Virginia Moon – Foo Fighters ft. Norah Jones (lyrics)
Virginia Plain – Roxy Music (lyrics)
Only The Good Die Young – Billy Joel (lyrics) (“Come out, Virginia.
Don’t let me wait. You Catholic girls start much too late.”)
Who’ll Stop The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival (lyrics)
(“I went down Virginia, seekin’ shelter from the storm”)
* Eight presidents that came from Virginia:
1st - George Washington 1789-1797 (2 terms) 3rd - Thomas Jefferson 1801-1817 (2 terms) 4th - James Madison 1809-1817 (2 terms) 5th - James Monroe 1817-1825 (2 terms) 9th - William Henry Harrison 1841 (he died of pneumonia a month after his inaugural address - shortest term in office) 10th - John Tyler 1841-1845 (1 term) 12th - Zachary Taylor 1849-1850 (16 months president, died after illness, second president to die in office) 28th - Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921 (2 terms)
If you have a State-related blogpost to share, or if you have art to show that is inspired by the State or by this blogpost, feel free to leave a link. Please leave a link to a specific blog post or image on flickr, rather than a general url. Each link will be viewed before it gets approved. No linking up to travel agents or advertisements please. Thanks!
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Julie Tucker-Wolek says
I love Virginia! It is so beautiful there!!
Dat was weer een leuk reisje marit 🙂
~*~Patty Szymkowicz Magpie's Nest says
Marit! you did a fabulous job and the way you make connections with music is pretty darn amazing too! Thank you for mentioning me … we are having a beautiful Spring here in northern Virginia (which some kid is a different state than the rest of Virginia…but that’s another story 😉 )
A favorite and sentimental song for me is A Shenandoah Lullaby by The Grateful Dead