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Springfield Mural Celebrates FLW's 150th
The next time you're in downtown Springfield, swing by the west side of the building at 5th and Monroe.

The ARTification public art project on that brick wall is a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired mural, partially sponsored by the AIA Illinois Foundation in honor of the 150th anniversary of FLW's birth in June 1867. 

AIA Illinois joined with building owner Curtis Tillett and the City of Springfield to provide support for the mural project by Springfield artist, Troy Freeman, of FreeSky Studios. ARTification is an ongoing program by the Main Street program in Springfield, Downtown Springfield Inc, to create meaningful and thought-provoking installations throughout the district.

MIke Waldinger, AIA Executive Vice President, made the following remarks at the unveiling:

"AIA Illinois is a statewide association of architects based in Springfield, Illinois. This is our home. We live and serve here, volunteering with numerous not for profits with annual service days. That's where this idea first started to take shape. In 2015, we joined Springfield ShareFest to transform Feitshans Elementary School. While picking up after a hard day's work, [artist] Troy Freeman and I had a conversation in the parking lot about how cool it would be to showcase the bold and elegant designs of Frank Lloyd Wright's site-specific Springfield graphics to a wider audience.

This is also where our Foundation invests resources. We've supported efforts to renovate [Wright's] Dana Thomas House, the Governor's Mansion, the Children's Museum, an architect's corner on the Old State Capitol grounds for the Bicentennial and of course this great mural.

Being involved in the community and giving back some of our resources helped make this happen. Thanks to our leadership and members for supporting those efforts, and the City and DSI for developing this program. And what a terrifc job by Troy.

We're so fortunate to have great works of architecture in our city. They are diverse in style, materials and era. But they aren't born by accident, won't stay that way automatically and can't happen again without commitment. We must -- all of us -- celebrate beauty and demand quality. Our public spaces deserve better than the quickest, cheapest proposal. A strong sense of place that everyone embraces calls for a higher standard. Mediocrity is the cruelest legacy.

Frank Lloyd Wright got that. Just days after his 150th birthday, we remember that he said, 'If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.'

Wright was notoriously difficult. Stubborn, demanding, uncompromising. But the work still inspires and the community finds new ways to acknowledge it. The bigger goal is to invest in future examples that we can be equally proud of."
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