Public Art Commission
All the Art Happening in Downtown Aurora on Saturday, August 28
Saturday August 28th is a celebration of Public Art in Downtown Aurora. The first 25 of 30 new murals scheduled for 2021 in Downtown Aurora will be installed on or completed by August 28th during Aurora Downtown’s annual Alley Art Fest.
From 12-5pm, Alley Art Fest will host live entertainment, spectacle, and 70 artist booths at three downtown locations: along Water Street Mall, the river walk along the Paramount, and the river walk along the Grand Army of the Republic Museum.
From 12-8pm, Aurora Public Art will host DJs and 16 street artists live painting Aurora’s first sanctioned Street Art Gallery in Public Parking Lot H at 14 Middle Ave. Artists include Rogue1, Rawfa, Flash ABC, Raven, Cres Roc, Acid, Fisk, Syms, Snagz, Decades Oner, Seize, Ill630ink, Shananagans,1 AV One, and Sick Bombshell.
International Muralist Rafael Blanco, an Aurora resident originally from Spain, will be installing a 40’ mural at 105 E Galena Blvd. This mural is sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Aurora Downtown, Bush Construction, and the City of Aurora.
Four local artists will be completing a mural depicting Alebrijes, magical animals from Mexican Folk Art, on the BNSF viaduct wall along E New York St., under the railroad bridge. Artists include Pierre Lucero, Catalina Diaz, Laura Reyes, and Janice Rodriguez. This mural is sponsored by a grant from the Burlington Northern Foundation and the City of Aurora.
Six new traffic cabinet murals are being added to the existing 12 traffic cabinet murals installed throughout Downtown Aurora in 2018. 2021 artists include Raul Rodea at the SE corner of Benton and River St., Thuy-An Nguyen at the SW corner of Galena and River St., Ali Cantarella at E New York St west of the BNSF viaduct, Josh Schultz at the SE corner of New York St. and Broadway, Teresa Feihn Millies on River St. south of Benton at the East entrance of the Santori Library, and Elizabeth French on the west side of River St. between Downer and Benton at Public Parking Lot C. This project is sponsored by Aurora Downtown and the City of Aurora.
Artists Laura Lynne and Catalina Diaz are installing a mural at 210 E Galena Blvd., commissioned and sponsored by Aurora Downtown.
Christopher Lucero is installing 3 large-scale prints from his Calaveras of Chicago series on the east side of 36 W Downer Place.
Accelerating Inspiration: Art from Fermilab
August 6 - September 25
Aurora Public Art’s gallery on the 3rd floor of the David L. Pierce Center will reopen August 6th with a new show. “Accelerating Inspiration: Art from Fermilab” features the work of three artists with three unique visions, expressing their artistic connections to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. From its founding, the lab has encouraged the use of art to connect complex ideas with the public.
- Jim Jenkins’ kinetic sculptures and repurposed materials express objects in plain view or secrets deeply hidden.
- Lindsay Olson’s richly embroidered and beaded textiles connect viewers with the Standard Model, the discovery of the Higgs boson and neutrino research at the lab.
- Georgia Schwender’s meticulous and expressive cyanotype process prints of bubble chamber images link the long history of particle accelerator research at the lab.
- All three artists are passionate about their artistic practice and continue to accelerate inspiration from Fermilab.
The exhibit will run from August 6-September 25. An opening reception will take place on Friday, August 6 from 6-9 p.m. The artists will provide a gallery talk at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 25.
Regular gallery hours are 12-4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. The City of Aurora is following CDC, state, and county health guidelines for COVID safety measures. All visitors must wear a mask in all areas of the David L. Pierce Center. Please maintain the suggested 6-foot social distancing guidance while indoors. These guidelines are subject to change.
The gallery and all events are sponsored by the City of Aurora. All are free and open to the public. Updates will be available on Aurora Public Art’s social media pages (@AuroraPublicArt on Facebook and Instagram).
Outdoor Art Installations in August
Mexican Folk Art Mural
- A Mexican Folk Art mural will be installed on the north wall of the New York St. railroad viaduct. The design theme is depictions of alebrijes, brightly-colored sculptures of mythical creatures.
- A team of 4 local artists will collaborate on the design and installation of the piece. The team includes Catalina Diaz, Pierre Lucero, Laura Reyes, and Janice Rodriguez.
Diversity in Technology Mural
- Aurora Artist Rafael Blanco will install a legacy mural at 105 E. Galena Blvd, on the north side of the APS Tower. The theme of the piece is Diversity in Technology, and Blanco’s design features a realistic portrait with a background containing images related to technology.
- Blanco, an assistant professor at Elmhurst College, is a nationally-renowned painter whose work has been featured in galleries and public spaces.
Utility Box Murals
- 6 new utility box murals will be installed at locations throughout downtown. The 2021 theme is colorful interpretations and geometric abstractions inspired by downtown Aurora's historic architecture.
- The 2021 utility box artists are Ali Cantarella (LaSalle and New York St.), Elizabeth French (River St., north of Benton), Teresa Fiehn Millies (River St., south of Benton), Thuy-An Nguyen, Raul Rodea (River and Benton), and Joshua Schultz (Broadway and New York St.).
BOM' DA LOT - Street Art Murals
- Come see a live painting exhibition on Saturday, August 28. Aurora Public Art is creating a dedicated space for street art installations. Several street artists will paint murals in Lot H, located at 14 Middle Ave. This live painting event will also feature music and dance.
Public Art Audio Tour
Take a guided tour of the murals and sculptures in downtown Aurora by downloading the Otocast app and clicking on Aurora Public Art. The Otocast guide provides locations, directions, photographs, background information, and a brief audio clip about each piece of outdoor art. Many of the audio clips are interviews with the artists who created the installations.