Village embraces downtown mural

Community

RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — It was a project years in the making, but when brush was put to paint it took a matter of weeks to complete.

“It shows a community rich in their history and heritage with a really diverse culture, and kind of really reflects the small town of now,” explains Kellie Wahl, former executive director of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce.

She’s talking about the downtown mural project.

“We worked with the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Village of Rantoul,” she said. “We worked with administrators and trustees from the Village of Rantoul, RTHS, RCS, a ton of non-profits in town, some of the local businesses.”

It is a project that was truly years in the making.

“Within a six-month timeframe we were finally able to make the project happen: come with a final plan and contract Madelyn Witruk, who was our artist, who received the bid,” Wahl said. “From start to finish, even doing a little fundraising and marketing we git it done in six months.”

At the time, Witruk was fairly new to mural work.

“That’s actually only my second,” explained Witruk. “I’ve done a lot more sign painting and menu boards.”

But Witruk is hardly new to central Illinois.

“I had to do a lot of research [about Rantoul] because I’m from Pesotum, so I’m like a townie” Witruk said. “But I didn’t know a ton about Rantoul’s history. This one took a ton of research.”

That’s not the only part of the process that takes time.

“Weather is definitely a thing you have to deal with,” she said. “Not only when it’s raining, but also when it’s 90 degrees. It’s not good for paint either.”

Witruk put in over 120 hours of painting on the mural.

Wahl says the finished product is special to Rantoul.

“It represents so much more than one piece of art can represent for a community and its gonna be like that and different for everybody that get to view it and see it.”

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