A group of 20 youths in the area are coming together to bring art to the community.
The 2019 mural project will be located on the corner of West Market Street and Morris Avenue. Work on the mural is already underway, and by the end of the week the artists, age 11 through 18, will have completed their large work of art. The work will be revealed at noon on Sunday.
Illinois Art Station partnered with the City of Bloomington and Artolution to bring the project to life. The project is to the right of a pre-existing mural of a train.
“IAS did a mural project last year underneath the Constitution Trail, and the City of Bloomington was so impressed by it that we wanted to do another one,” Illinois Art Station Communication Specialist Delaney Somers said. “However, this one is a little bit different.”
Bloomington-Normal native Joel Bergner is the co-founder and co-director of Artolution and is leading the current mural project. Bergner travels all over the world, painting murals in various countries. He decided to come back to Blo-No to work with young local artists for this latest project.
The artists have been working on the mural every day from 9 a.m. to noon since Monday and will continue working until Friday.
“It’s really the kids that are the ones who come up with the message and the themes they really want to communicate to the rest of the community,” Somers said. “[The mural] is created by the community, for the community.”
The celebration for the completed mural will take place at noon on Sunday. To kick things off, a group of young dancers will perform a piece they have been working on. The youth performance project was in partnership with Breaking Chains & Advancing Increase School of Arts. Much like the mural artists, these 12 dancers had one week to create their dance performance.
Somers said creating the mural is “more of a process than people may think.” A lot of proposals, writing, social media posting and funding is needed before the paint brushes can even touch the wall.
The artists had a workshop last week to prepare for their week full of painting. The workshop helped the artists get to know one another and “break out of their shells” through fun activities. The orientation taught the artists about murals, and how to paint them in order to communicate a message.
“I think [this mural] is super important for the community because not only is it created by the community,” Somers said. “But it’s from youth who really have a voice and they are able to communicate to the community. They are able to tell their specific, individual stories.”
“People who get up every morning and drive past the mural to go to work or to go to school will be able to feel that they are connected within the visual arts in our community,” Somers said. “That just inspires more people to get involved or even think about art and what this message really means for the community.”