The Forest Park Village Council gave a boost to efforts by the Forest Park Arts Alliance to create a mural on the Circle Avenue Bridge, agreeing at the Jan. 14 meeting to allow the group to solicit funds in conjunction with the village’s annual vehicle sticker renewal notice.

In a letter to the Village Council, Laura Twining, president of the organization, said the project would involve hiring a professional muralist to design a “hidden pictures” piece of artwork on the west wall of the Circle Avenue Bridge, abutting the new Roos Recreation Center. To move forward, the Arts Alliance will need to conduct large-scale fundraising to support the costs associated with this project, she added.

“We are very excited to bring more art to the forefront of our community, and we hope this special project will serve to entertain and inspire both residents and visitors for years to come,” she said in the letter.

Following Village Council approval, the Arts Alliance will provide a flyer/stuffer to promote the effort that will be included in the mailing of the vehicle sticker renewal notices. The village will collect the donations received from residents on behalf of the organization.

In May 2017, the Arts Alliance transformed the walls on the Circle Avenue Bridge into public art as part of a project called “Cover Our Rust.” After a public works crew from the village power-washed and sealed the rust-stained walls of the bridge, the walls were divided into 114 spaces that measured 10-foot-by-26-inch spaces each to be used as “canvases” by local artists.

In previous years, Forest Park residents have been given the option on their vehicle sticker renewal form to make a contribution to a specific fund or cause benefitting the village, including the Park District to help fund an Independence Day fireworks display, the Historical Society and the First Responders Memorial Fund. Village Administrator Tim Gillian said varying amounts are raised, depending on the specific cause, with an average of $2,500.00.