Do you ever bike or walk along the murals on The Monon Trail between 52nd and 54th Streets? If so, you might have noticed how the murals have started to show their age. The paint is peeling away from the wall, large chunks of some already gone. Megan Jefferson and Department of Public Words (DPW) applied for a Nice Grant, hoping to do something about it.
Initially, DPW sought to redo only part of the mural. After receiving the Nice Grants funds and gaining support from Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association, another funder stepped up, allowing them to redo all 604 feet (that's a lot of space!). Herman Kittle, the owners of the mural site, provided the funds needed to complete the rest of the project.
We were hoping for this and didn't think it was possible. However, because of the support of MKNA and SmallBox, they sensed community support and got on board too! We are so excited for this project.
– Megan Jefferson
The concept for the mural-to-be was derived from a painting called "Roots of the City" by local artist Emily Litsey. In addition to collaborating with Litsey, DPW is bringing in an internationally known street artist and stencil-art expert, Peat Wollaeger. The organization also plans to involve volunteers in the process.
According to Jefferson, this is possibly the largest stenciled wall ever, and they've considered applying for an official Guinness World Record. They hope this project will bring awareness to the Department of Public Words' mission of "Positive words empowering people."
The mural work is slated to occur August through October, 2014. Stay tuned for progress on the mural, and news about an after party to celebrate the completion!