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Written By
Lydia Whitehead
October 15, 2014
Posted In

This Train is Moving

October 15, 2014

What started out as a mural improvement project has blossomed into a project to send a message of positivity and celebrate community. It’s been a few months since we niced Department of Public Words (DPW) and we noticed that the murals along The Monon Trail between 52nd and 54th streets have been getting lots of love lately. So we stopped by on a sunny Saturday morning to check out the progress:

Monon mural color blocks

Patterned train car

What were once old murals with peeling paint had become rectangles at various stages of transformation into railroad cars. We witnessed a clever assembly process that seemed to be 1) lay down colored paint in a rectangle, 2) apply black railroad stencils, 3) add stencil variations such as hearts and positive messages, 4) enjoy.

It was really neat to see the crew of volunteers getting in the groove and making the murals happen.

Team of volunteers painting the Monon mural

Mural Service Vehicle and crew painting

We stopped to talk to Holly Combs, co-founder and co-executive director of DPW, about the process of updating the murals over the last few weeks.

“The unexpected thing that happened while we were working is that the bikers, the runners, the dog walkers — they’re in the zone and working out — they see the wall, they’re stunned by it, it takes a minute, they turn around, they get off their bikes, they actually walk up to us and say, ‘this is so beautiful, thank you.’”

Indeed, thank you, DPW. We’re so excited to see these murals come to life! See more photos on Facebook.