Best Local Visual Artist

First Place: Ed Trask

Second Place: Jimmy Sadler

Third Place: Happy the Artist

Leave it to Richmond to finally appreciate a painter known for his building murals, when he only began painting on buildings because no gallery in the city showed any interest in his work. But that was back in the dark ages of the ’90s and now with murals scattered all around town and recurring exhibits in galleries from the Fan to Church Hill, he’s practically revered as a native son, despite being born in Loudoun County. He was one of the organizers of last year’s RVA Street Art Festival, which turned the walls of the abandoned power plant on the James River into public art. “There are different pockets of Richmond that I think need to have some revitalization and public art has proven that it really works,” Trask says. His current show, “The Great Escape,” sheds light on why Trask is attracted to his favorite subjects (running through June 8 at Glave Kocen Gallery). Photographer Jimmy Sadler ( also has experience as a teacher, videographer and, yes, comedy troupe member. And at third place is the showman Happy the Artist, who’s painted things as varied as Jimmy Sneed’s first Richmond venture, the Frog and the Redneck, and the Virginia State Lottery offices.


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