ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford artists helped cover up the marks of vandalism in downtown Rockford.
“It’s an honor to be asked to be part of it, and it’ll help to beautify something that was a complete and total blemish that happened,” said Pablo Korona, one of the artists involved.
On October 12 an act of vandalism was committed on E State Street which resulted in multiple businesses having their front windows shattered. Once the broken windows were boarded up local agencies wanted to brighten up the blemishes.
The River District, Rockford Area Arts Council, and Visitors Bureau reached out to 8 artists to help cover 9 boarded up windows.
“The windows were broken out and within a few days, everyone was emailed with this new concept. So we really didn’t have much time to react or get together with each other to come up with ideas,” said Korona. “We just made it happen.”
Asia Peters is another artist involved. Her piece covers up the Underground Art Gallery destruction, it is titled “A Desire to Touch Divinity.”
“Like amongst the conflict in the world and even within myself, I’m always just looking for the magic and the beauty. And so I wanted to symbolize that we’re kind of these like, abstract hands reaching toward the sparkle, which is like the magic or the essence of life,” Peters said. “To have the opportunity as a working artist to just get opportunities like this thrown at you, plus like the incentive to help the community, it’s huge. And yeah, that’s why I do what I do, because I want to beautify the place that I live.”
The artists hope their work can comfort those in the area, hoping it continues to liven up the city.
“A time when it wasn’t so safe downtown. There wasn’t a lot of art downtown. That was, you know, when I was a kid. So I am so thrilled to see everything turn around and for art to be embraced like that,” said Jenny Matthews, another artist involved. Her work is on the boarded up window of Socials.