On the path to trailside artwork

Messenger photos by Theresa Hennis
On April 24, several community members came together to break ground on a mural project alongside the multipurpose trail that runs through London: (from left) Chris Wallace, Madison County commissioner; J.T. Byrd, Madison County Historical Society trustee; Dr. Tony Xenikis, Madison County commissioner; Marlon Bradley, operations superintendent with the Madison County Engineer’s Office; London Mayor Patrick Closser and his son, Maddoxx; Van Viney, MATCO CEO; and Wayne Roberts, Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails executive director.

(Posted April 28, 2021)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

The Friends of Madison County Parks & Trails (FMCPT) and MATCO Inc. have launched a mural project that will bring art to the corner of Maple and Center streets along the multipurpose trail that runs through London.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 24. The mural will be installed on the side of one of MATCO’s buildings.

The groundbreaking coincided with National Celebrate Trails Day. A video of the ceremony will be included in a nationwide broadcast by the Great American Rail-Trail.

“This project is called the Community Mural Project,” said Wayne Roberts, FMCPT executive director. “The west approach of the trail into London is welcoming, and we want the same experience for riders coming into London on the east approach.”

First impressions are key. The goal of the mural project is to provide a good first impression of London when people visit by trail.

“The main thing is that people will feel welcomed as they walk or ride by on the trail and then go home and tell others, ‘Hey, you need to go to London to see this,’” said London Mayor Patrick Closser.

The mural project will be visible from the Roberts Pass Trail, a portion of the Ohio to Erie Trail that runs through London.

The project is a collaboration of MATCO, FMCPT, the Madison County Historical Society, and the London Visual Arts Guild. The plan is to install 17 mural panels on the bricked-over windows of the MATCO building facing the trail, plant a mini garden, possibly install a sidewalk with a kiosk and benches for people to get closer to the murals, and build decorative walking bridges and a walking trail to connect to the multipurpose trail already in place.

“I’ve been involved in several communal projects, and I love this project,” said Dr. Gregg Alexander, FMCPT board president. “So far, we’ve had a bunch of people who’ve put in sweat, time and thought processes on this. I think that’s one of the most precious things about it. I continue to be impressed by the good hearts and camaraderie of our community coming together to work on this.”

To donate to or volunteer for the Community Mural Project, contact FMCPT at info@fmcpt.com.

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