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Colorful new mural for downtown Macomb

MBA mural-01.jpg
Rich Egger
/
TSPR
Those who attended the unveiling ceremony had their photo taken with the mural. “What a turnout! The city of Macomb, man, great people live here, they’re really eager to help,” said artist Bill Howard.

The Macomb Beautiful Association officially unveiled the vibrant mural the group commissioned to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

More than 100 people attended the ceremony Thursday afternoon despite the high heat and humidity.

MBA President Barbara Knox said the mural exceeded their expectations.

“It’s turned out just beautiful. It’s just breathtaking really,” she said.

“It looks really beautiful at night. Make sure you come up at night. We have it lit up until midnight every night.”

Mural-MBA-02.jpg
Rich Egger
/
TSPR
This is from the middle section of the piece. The entire mural measures 12 feet high by 60 feet long.

The mural by Western Illinois University Art Professor Bill Howard is installed on the north wall of Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria. The entire piece measures 12 feet high by 60 feet long. It’s painted on 24 aluminum panels that were bolted to the brick exterior wall at the restaurant.

“It’s super bright and the colors won’t fade because it’s sign paint. So it should be like this for a long, long time,” he said.

Howard said painting on the panels allowed him and volunteers to work indoors and make progress on the mural during the cold winter months.

Knox said MBA members discussed several ideas for marking the organization’s 50th anniversary. She said they took a vote and the mural project won.

“The other projects had their own merits and we may be doing them in the future too,” she said. “But this was the one we thought was the most representative of what we try to do here in Macomb.”

She said many people donated money and time to create the mural, and she said Gelsosomo’s owners Jim and Amy Buwick donated the space to hang it.

“This is the perfect place,” Knox said. “You can see it on the train. You can see it when you pass by in traffic.”

Knox said the Macomb Beautiful Association’s anniversary celebration will continue Saturday, June 18 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Chandler Park. The event will include family activities and live music.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.