A street mural is underway in the heart of Downtown Alton’s entertainment district.
Alton Main Street says the new public art project is being painted directly on the roadway at the intersection of State and Third streets.
The public is welcome to observe the artist at work. Creation of the mural began on Sunday, Sept. 26, and the project is expected to take between three and five days to complete.
State Street from Broadway to 4th Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for the duration of the installation. The work of art is expected to last a decade or more before requiring maintenance.
Besides the obvious benefits of beautifying a public space, street murals offer the added benefit of calming traffic which increases the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. Public art benefits urban environments by creating a safer community, generating relationships between constituents and businesses, and increasing economic revenue.
“Economically speaking, street art is a huge draw for residents and tourists alike. Visitors to the district will translate into shoppers and diners for our local businesses,” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street, adding “The addition of this colorful and intriguing piece of art to our urban environment will also serve to highlight the cultural vibrancy of Alton and demonstrate that our community is evolving and thriving.”
Artist Joe Miller was selected to create the artwork. Miller originally hails from Staunton and is now based in Chicago. After attending Lewis and Clark Community College, he went on to receive his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Chicago in 2008. Miller is a professional muralist, whose work consists primarily of large-scale mural projects throughout the Chicagoland area, as well as across the country and around the world.
To learn more about the artist, visit www.instagram.com/thejoemiller
PHOTO ABOVE: A conception of what the project will look like when done. Near photo, the artist, with a mural that he created in East Lansing, Mich.