Mural proposed for building in downtown Mundelein

Mundelein officials set to commission coffee shop mural

Already promoters of local public art, Mundelein officials are making plans to commission a mural on the side of a downtown coffee shop.

A large painting has been proposed for the east side of the Area General Store, 18 E. Park St. The building's owners, Paul and Nora Arroyo, have offered to donate the space for the artwork.

Paul Arroyo believes the piece will add color and vibrancy to the block.

"(It) will energize the neighborhood and increase the quality of life while embracing arts and culture," said Arroyo, who owns and operates the nearby Park Street Restaurant.

Trustee Ray Semple said he likes the Park Street location for the first mural because it's a new type of art project for Mundelein.

"I'd rather have the (first) site on Park Street versus a main thoroughfare to gauge the public's reaction and acceptance of this form of public art," he said.

Mundelein has developed or assisted several public arts projects in recent years, including a statue at the police station and the decorative painting of some roadside utility boxes.

"High quality murals and public art help build a sense of community and enhance our village's image," Mayor Steve Lentz said. "The more art, the better."

Artist Giuseppe Percivati tentatively has been chosen for the new project.

Percivati, who has painted murals around the world, has proposed an art-nouveau style piece featuring the town's name. Each letter will have artwork depicting a landmark or characteristic of Mundelein, according to his plan.

Percivati estimates the project could cost $15,000, village documents indicate. Neither the sum nor the design have been finalized, however, nor has a contract been signed.

The mural concept came from the Mundelein Arts Commission, a group created by the village board to promote cultural, visual and performance art in town.

For the project to happen, the village board needed to amend town code to allow murals in Mundelein, which it did Monday.

Murals hadn't been explicitly banned by any ordinances, but they weren't explicitly permitted, either. Murals will be limited to the downtown area, and a village permit will be required to install one.

Additionally, the artwork will have to meet quality and safety standards.

For example, painted murals must be sealed with a graffiti-resistant coating.

Additionally, murals can't contain commercial lettering or images, such as a business name or business logo.

A mural can, however, include images related to a business in a building on which it is painted, which led Trustee Bill Rekus to oppose the plan.

"I do not want to see public art turned into commercial advertising," he said.

Paul Arroyo hopes the proposed mural will attract people to the downtown area and become a local landmark.

"The idea of more foot traffic is always a good one," he said.

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Muralist Giuseppe Percivati with one of his creations. Percivati is being considered for a village-commissioned mural in Mundelein. Courtesy of Village of Mundelein
This is artist Giuseppe Percivati's loose design for a mural he's proposed for the side of a building in downtown Mundelein. Each of the letters will depict a landmark or characteristic of Mundelein. Courtesy of Village of Mundelein
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