People traveling through downtown Paducah may notice a new three-story wall display in a building at 315 Broadway that shows orange monarch butterflies flying and landing on yellow black-eyed Susan flowers.
The mural is part of the new Broadway Mural Project, a joint effort between Paducah Main Street and Paducah Creative & Cultural Council. The new project is designed to bring positive attention to vacant and available downtown commercial properties while working to beautify and enliven downtown spaces.
Nic Hutchinson, director of Paducah Planning, said the mural project is a way to beautify downtown, raise awareness of available properties in prime downtown locations and partner with the local arts community. .
“The idea is on the one hand, to bring more public art into the downtown core and in the community, and on the other hand, to attract attention and raise awareness of the opportunities for these investors and businesses. [that] exist downtown,” Hutchinson said.
Nikki May, a Paducah-based artist and web designer, was commissioned to design a mural that fits the window space of the vacant building.
May said former Paducah Main Street manager Katie Axt reached out to her a few months ago when talks about the Broadway mural project began.
Inspired by the idea that public art is a ‘pollinator’ to bring more business to the area, May said Axt reached out to her because she was aware of May’s current project where she works. to the creation of works of art representing the 50 flowers and insects of the state. .
From there, May devised a few concepts that could fit some of the vacant buildings in downtown Paducah that used flowers, flowers, and bugs.
The Black-Eyed Susan Flower and Monarch Butterfly Mural uses contrasting colors, with the orange butterflies and yellow flowers standing out against the green leaves and cool blue background. May’s design connects through three stories of windows and glass, creating a cohesive image.
May’s mural is printed on separate pieces of window film, which were then installed on the interior side of windows of various sizes at the vacant Broadway property between Courtyard Antiques and Raven & Moth over the past few weeks. The art exhibits at the Paducah Innovation Hub inspired May to explore this method, and Petter Supply worked with her to get exact window measurements for May to determine where the divisions in her design would go.
“It’s the biggest [art piece] I have never done. I’ve never done a giant three-story building before, but I’d like to do more,” May said.
Several groups of artists have already expressed interest in participating in another mural project in the future. Hutchinson said Paducah Main Street has yet to identify the next site for the Broadway mural project, but said there are several large vacant spaces on Broadway to potentially display another mural if there is. had positive reactions and results from this exhibition.