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Posted on: July 20, 2021

DeKalb Seeking Public Mural Artists

A girl adds her handprint to the community mural in the Hopkins Park underpass.

The City of DeKalb and its Citizens’ Community Enhancement Commission (CCEC) are launching a new webpage to encourage the creation of more public murals and to solicit mural sites.

The initiative comes on the heels of the completion of two new public murals in DeKalb.

A ribbon cutting was held in June for the Unity mural in the Lincoln Highway underpass. The artists are Aaron Robertson, Ivy Vargas, Jordan Jacob and Shannon Gallagher.

“Last summer after the walls of the underpass were tagged by vandals, a group of talented artists within our community immediately took action,” said CCEC Chair Brad Hoey. “Taking advantage of the city’s recently implemented mural policy, these artists were able to quickly begin transforming the site of an unfortunate incident into a creative and inspirational work of art.”

Shorty after completion of the Unity mural, 150 people turned out to create a colorful community mural in the Hopkins Park pedestrian underpass below Sycamore Road. 

To inspire more mural projects, the CCEC has created a webpage to put all the information needed to create a public mural in DeKalb in one, convenient location on the City’s website. It contains:

• DeKalb’s Public Mural Policy, which guides artists through the approval process.

• The public mural application.

• City-owned properties which may be used in mural applications.

Along with a comprehensive list of City-owned buildings, the webpage includes photos of some City buildings that may make ideal mural sites. These include: the DeKalb Community Center on Grove Street, hangars at DeKalb Airport and the Streets and Water Division buildings on Market Street.

“Our hope is that other local artists will be inspired to utilize the public canvases within the City of DeKalb to create their own unique artistic vision,” said Hoey.

The CCEC is also soliciting privately-owned buildings to be considered for mural sites. Contact information can be found on the new webpage so building owners can have their property suggested to local artists.

The mural webpage can be found at cityofdekalb.com/murals.

Photo caption: After DeKalb Public Works created a geometric pattern in the Hopkins Park pedestrian underpass below Sycamore Road, community members painted in the shapes and added a personal touch – their handprints.

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