Nearly a hundred community members came out this afternoon in Downtown Naperville to paint barricaded walls on businesses near the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Webster Street.
Painting Barricaded Walls
The wooden walls, meant to help protect against looting, aren’t really reflective of the vibrancy that’s associated with the downtown area said business owner Megan Drane. Wanting to change that, and in an effort to bring the community together, Drane asked community members for some help, and they responded.
“If you walk around anywhere in downtown Naperville it look is like a ghost town,” said Drane, owner of Firefly Nights Photography. “ I mean it’s really depressing. We’ve never seen Naperville like this and so desolate and I was thinking we don’t know how long our boards will be up. It might be two days, it might be a week, who knows? But it’d be nice to have something with color and hope as opposed to sadness and fear that’s been going on.”
The tool of choice was a paintbrush and with supplies courtesy of Art Bar 39 Illinois, community members got to work on their masterpieces.
Artist from all age ranges filled the wooden canvases with flowers, peace signs, and Black Lives Matter paintings.
“We’re all coming together to improve our cities and to show that we are stronger together,” said Emily McDonald, the co-owner of Art Bar Illinois. “When we work together we can make anything happen. We can change the dialogue and we can make things work.”
McDonald hopes other downtown Naperville businesses follow suit, and have their barricaded walls painted as well.
The efforts today from Naperville residents were inspired by those in Aurora, where community members are also working towards painting wooden walls in the downtown area.
Painting in Aurora began yesterday afternoon, with the hope that the artwork would be finish sometime tomorrow, weather permitting.
Similar to Naperville, the wall paintings offer artists from all skill levels to come out and show their support.
“We had over 100 volunteers show up yesterday and finish almost all of the walls that we had business permission for,” said Aurora Public Art Director Jen Evans, who organized the painting efforts in just a few hours. “We got a great variety of people, we have kids, nonprofits, people from all parts of the community, [and] skilled artists here.”
Peace and Love
Over 100 gallons of paint will be used in both the cities painting efforts, which hope to promote peace and love.
For Naperville News 17, I’m Christian Canizal.
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