Small Cities in Illinois Known for Their Beautiful Murals
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Illinois is like an open book just waiting to be read. Larger-than-life murals enhance structures and buildings in cities across the state, telling the unique stories of each community’s people and heritage.
“The murals and statuary in towns and cities are an integral part of their history – past and present – and what these places represent,” says Dianna Mueller, a mural artist in Chester. “They demonstrate a town’s pride and ambience and afford so many opportunities for photographs.”
In Peoria, visitors can see murals depicting the “History of the Mardis Gras” and the Illinois Traction Railway, among others. Much of Peoria’s public art is along the downtown riverfront, although there also are indoor murals in Peoria’s City Hall, the luxurious Hotel Père Marquette and the library at Bradley University.
“Each mural has its own character and theme,” says Jonathan Wright, managing editor of Central Illinois Business Publishers Inc. “Most of the murals have themes pertaining to the business inside – jazz musicians at the Madison Theatre, runners at the Running Central shoe store, and fair trade and international cooperation at Global Village, a fair trade shop. The indoor murals at City Hall and the Père are quite old and represent Peoria’s rich history.”
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Another mural on the outside of Water Street Wines, Café & Coffees features several prominent Peorians hidden in the collage – an inside joke that invokes a chuckle with the locals.
“It’s difficult to put a dollar amount on the value of art, but it is undeniable that public art enhances the quality of life in the area and shows a connection to culture that is attractive to young professionals, tourists and other visitors,” Wright says.