ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Ten murals were unveiled in Rockford last year and the artists behind the project are hoping to approve even more.
A Rockford City Council committee will consider approval of new additions tonight.
If approved, the new murals will be created in Rockford, Loves Park, and Rockton in collaboration between businesses, cities, and artists.
Kristen Paul, the vice president of destination development at the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (RACVB) said the murals would be “colorful and vibrant and all the things the arts do.”
“We love the placemaking that it does for the community,” Paul continued. “Art, really, is a way to unify people and bring people together, and to be able to provide museum quality work that is publicly available, is just a really fun process and it’s also really inviting for our community.”
This will be the fourth year that CRE8IV, a public art effort created by the RACVB, will create the murals. Funding is provided by individual and corporate donations.
On Monday, a new mural was painted on the side of Ernie’s Midtown Pub, at 1025 5th Avenue. It says “Rockford” with letters spelled out using the logos of the city’s sports teams, past and present.
“I just wanted something for the community to to really be able to appreciate when they are driving out here in midtown,” said owner Andrew Vowles. “Give them a reason to come down to the restaurant and check it out and take some pictures in front of it.”
Vowles said he’s excited to brighten up the town while showcasing the work of local artists Brett Whitacre and Victor Rivera.
“I’m really I’m honored that Andrew actually picked this logo over his own logo for his establishment, Ernie’s, and then to have Brett Whitaker, who was one of the most respected artists in town in the region painting it. It’s really an honor, a dream come true, to be honest,” Rivera said.
RACVB chooses artists from around the country to be a part of the CRE8IVE project.
“Hopefully, the program will continue for a number of years and we get projects all throughout the community,” Paul said.
If approved by the full City Council, the murals should be completed by the beginning of June.