Rockford teen hopes to inspire community spirit with new painted mural

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Rockford thrives on outdoor art, except one particular form – murals. Libbie Frost, a Boylan teen, is trying to change that in an effort to beautify the community.

Below the hustle and bustle of East State Street, a new piece of artwork is blooming in Joe Marino Park.

“I wrote Rockford in big letters, and I did the purple coneflower, which is the Rockford flower,” Frost said.

The Boylan High School student has been an artist as long as she can remember, and is now using her skills to give back to the community.

“I think that public art is a great thing for any community, and I saw this as an opportunity, that Rockford needs more of it,” she said. “And, I noticed that Rockford didn’t have a mural where it actually said ‘Rockford’, and I wanted something where it was really part of our identity as a community.”

Frost started painting last week, but the creative process began several weeks ago with a proposal to Rockford’s City Council, and raising money for materials.

“I think it’s important to know that this is not tax dollars,” Frost said. “I raised all the money for the paints on a GoFundMe page I posted on Facebook. This is all community service, because I love my city.”

Frost adds that community members have already given her positive feedback.

“That’s honestly, probably my favorite part about working on this mural, is just meeting everyone from the community. People stop by on this bridge and yell, ‘Hey, this is awesome! You’re doing great!” she said.

Frost says her overall goal is to create something Rockford residents can enjoy and be proud of.

“I hope they take pictures with it. I hope they feel happy by it. I hope they feel a sense of pride in their city, the same pride I feel, as well,” she said.

Residents are encouraged to post photos of the mural with the #WeLoveRockford hashtag.

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