The Illinois Art Station and Artolution, an international non-profit organization, have partnered with the City of Bloomington for a 2019 Bloomington Youth Mural Project. Running from 9 a.m.-noon June 3-7 with a youth workshop on Friday, May 31, the program offers McLean County youth the opportunity to create a community themed public art project at the intersection of Market Street and Morris Avenue where thousands of residents will experience it each day.

Illinois Art Station logo with the letters A, R, and TThe Bloomington Youth Mural Project will feature a group of local youth, who will envision, design, and paint their own community mural. The project will be led by Joel Bergner, co-founder of Artolution and native of Bloomington-Normal, who travels internationally creating public art with youth in diverse and unique communities. On Sunday, June 9 at noon, the community, including family and friends of the participants, will be invited to attend a closing ceremony, in which the mural will be unveiled to the public.

IAS Director Isra El-beshir called the collaboration between Illinois Art Station (IAS) and Artolution, “natural.” IAS provides all children, youth, and their families with transformative learning through hands-on experiences in the visual arts. While Artolution empowers communities through collaborative public arts initiatives that engage communities in creative experiences to promote healing, resilience, and positive social change. “We are excited to partner with Artolution and the City of Bloomington in offering our youth a space to create meaningful public art,” said El-beshir. “We want to empower youth in transformative ways and inspire them to tell their stories.”

“Placemaking through public art is a powerful way to engage the community in both the creation and reflection of our local culture in an enduring way. It is projects like this that give the west side its amazing and lasting character and help make it an area where all kinds of people want to live, work, and play,” said Alderman Scott Black.

Artolution invites local artists to participate in the mural as an opportunity to be introduced to their methodology of guiding youth in the creation of collaborative public art projects. Each artist will receive a copy of the Artolution’s Project Implementation Guide and will take part in a series of information sessions led by Bergner.

Apply: To submit an application, apply here (, or call in to apply with Peggy Finnegan-Boyes at (309) 438-0882. Applications must be completed by Thursday, May 16, 2019. 

This project was made possible by the Mayor’s office in the City of Bloomington, Illinois.

For more information regarding this program, please contact or call (309) 438-4444.