Arlington Heights library mural to honor King's legacy

 
 
Updated 1/10/2018 4:09 PM
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  • This outline will be filled in with bright colors on Monday as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. mural project at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

    This outline will be filled in with bright colors on Monday as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. mural project at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Courtesy of Arlington Heights Memorial Library

Residents and high school students will collaborate to create a mural Monday at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library highlighting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

Participants will paint portions of an outline designed by local artist Gino Savarino on three separate panels that, together, will form a 3- by 6-foot mural.

It will feature images of King, symbols of peace and unity, an American flag, and things identifiable to Arlington Heights such as a racehorse and the village logo.

The artwork takes inspiration from the village's motto as the "City of Good Neighbors," said Angela Jones, the library's community engagement liaison.

"I think it's something that will become a really great conversation piece," she said. "It honors the fact that there are so many different people that live in this community."

The mural also will include a quote from King: "Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal."

Jones said the mural project is part of an increased effort by the library to reach out to those in the community who may not be using library services. In January 2017, the library board added diversity and inclusion to the library's values statement, and Jones has been working with local agencies since her hiring in July 2017 to reach out to more residents.

Library staff members were thinking of some type of service project for Martin Luther King Jr. Day when officials at Northwest Suburban High School District 214's Newcomer Center suggested the mural. The center, which provides resources to students who are recent immigrants, has been working directly with the library since 2013 to provide library resources.

About 10 students are expected to help paint the mural Monday, along with residents who have signed up during painting sessions at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Some spots are still available. Registration is at ahml.info.

After painting, varnish will be added, and the mural will need to dry before it is put on display. It's possible the mural will be shown at various community organizations before its likely permanent installation at the Newcomer Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Jones said.

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