July 9, 2020 – A new interactive mural has been unveiled as part of a gift to the community to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Community Foundation of Macon County.
The Community Foundation, in partnership with the Decatur Area Arts Council and the Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, commissioned famed artist Kelsey Montague to create her signature angel wings mural at the northwest corner of the Civic Center.
Montague’s wings, which have been featured in the 2019 Superbowl, as well as part of the debut of Taylor Swift’s single “Me!”, is the third such creation in Illinois and the only one downstate.
The wings, which Montague says are not truly complete until someone is standing in front of them, features familiar Decatur iconography and elements patterned into monarch wings, an homage to the efforts of Dennis Lab School to make the butterfly the state insect. The mural, along with a smaller version next to it for children and pets, is designed for the viewer to stand in front of the mural to create a complete vision of “wearing” the wings”.
Montague’s pieces, which can be found all over the world, are a welcoming combination of public beauty, interactive art, and social media influence.
“I think social media is so powerful. . being able to share art with so many different people. To know that you are impacting somebody and giving them a chance to share a memory. Having that gift of a photo of that memory, It’s really rewarding and has caused me to push harder as an artist” said Montague.
“I wanted to do something that people could interact with and be a part of but also something that could be positive, empowering, and uplifting”. Montague encourages those sharing the image on social media to use the tag #whatliftsyou. Visitors to Decatur’s mural are also encouraged to use the tag #ExploreDecaturIL.
“The experience that art has brought into my life is amazing. Especially with angel wings. It’s a universal language everywhere that I create. It’s my way of giving back.” added Montague.
The mural will be open for public viewing and for pictures beginning July 11th. Visitors are asked to socially distance when waiting to take photos.
“We commissioned Kelsey to paint our wings as part of the Foundation’s yearlong 20th Anniversary celebration”, said Natalie Beck, President of the Community Foundation of Macon County. “We are so proud of how our community comes together to lift each other up. We’re hopeful that the installation will become a must-see, not only for locals, but for visitors alike.”