Artists set to paint Old Town streets

If you plan on making a drive to down- town Peoria in the next two months, keep your eyes open for some new colors in Old Town.

City of Peoria Arts and Theater Manager Marylou Stephens called upon local artists to submit artwork and ideas for permanent intersection paintings at five separate intersections in Old Town. Individuals and artists from organizations met in informal gatherings January 10 and 31 to learn more about what is referred to as an intersection painting project.

In her emails to various artists who indicated an interest in participating, Stephens wrote, “I wanted to take a moment and thank those of you that attended the meeting at Axiom last Thursday regarding the intersection painting projects in Old Town. I also appreciate those of you that have contacted me with questions as you prepare your proposals. It is an exciting community project and we want to support you in creating the environment in Old Town that will be attractive and welcoming.”

At the January 31 meeting, Stephens looked at several works of art proposed by the various artists, and the seven artists who attended eventually agreed to work collaboratively on different intersections. The intersections were split up as follows:

1)        84th Avenue and Washington Street (Marty Wolfe of Marty’s Fine Art)

2)        83rd Drive in front of Peoria Center for Performing Arts (WHAM Director Connie Whitlock with local high school students)

 3)        83rd Avenue and Washington Street (Melissa and Libby)

4)        84th Avenue and Jefferson Street (Axiom Church/Charith)

5)        83rd Avenue and Jefferson Street (Driftwood Coffee Co.)

Stephens said it was her hope that the painting in front of the PCPA would be interactive, with 80 percent completed before the Saturday, March 30 Peoria Unified School District Art and Cultural Festival that will be held in Old Town. The remaining 20 percent (which would include the brick walkways) could be completed by students and members of the community.

Artists will be paid $4,500 per inter- section plus given a $1,500 allowance for painting supplies. Stephens said she would check on local paint suppliers used by the city for its street painting purposes to ensure the artists purchase products that would hold up over time, given the fact the art would be subjected to vehicle traffic. She also emphasized the importance of painting a work that would be easily identified by drivers and pedestrians alike.

surfaces were properly cleaned and there would be barricades to prevent traffic during painting times.

Councilmember Vicki Hunt, who at- tended both artist meetings, said, “I’m ecstatic over the immersion of artists in Old Town. This is a new exciting concept we’re bringing to Old Town, bringing the community together in the arts.”

To learn more about art and theater in the city, visit departments/neighborhood-and-human- services/art-and-theater.