Macomb Murals Project
Conceived in 2018, the Macomb Murals Project was initiated by the offices of Visit Forgottonia/Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Beginning with the inaugural dedication of The Old Dairy Mural, the project was designed with the goal of inspiring other organizations and community members to create their own murals, and the plan worked. Since 2018 at least one new mural a year has been unveiled in and around Macomb’s Historic Courthouse Square. We encourage and look forward to the effort to catch on throughout Forgottonia’s McDonough County.
Old Dairy Cafe Mural
At nearly 15 feet high and stretching over 60 feet long, stands a whimsy of colorful display on the north side of the Old Dairy just off Macomb’s Historic Courthouse Square at 210 S. Lafayette St. Working in conjunction with the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Old Dairy Cafe and the Macomb Office of Downtown Development, WIU Professor of Art Bill Howard along with WIU Art Professor Emeritus Mike Mahoney created a dazzling montage that pays tribute to both the history of Macomb and the Old Dairy itself.
Along with vintage pop culture images relating to food, diners and dairy products, the mural also features representations of Macomb‘s old water tower and the iconic “EAT” sign from the town’s much beloved and now vanished Maid Rite cafe in addition to notable natives such as “Big” Al Sears, Gen. Alexander Macomb, Com. Thomas MacDonough and Monopoly inventor Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie.
Western Illinois Museum Mural
Just across the street from the Old Dairy at 201 S. Lafayette St. is the Western Illinois Museum where nationally known muralist and Macomb native Tanner Woodford’s “What You Feed Will Grow” is displayed. The founder and executive director of the Design Museum of Chicago donated his abundant artisanal talents to present Macomb with a composition in his traditionally optimistic and typographical style.
C. T. Vivian: Life of a Servant Leader Mural
In recognition of one of Macomb’s greatest sons, the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has partnered with C.T. Vivian Project Foundation of Macomb founder and director Byron Oden-Shabazz and artist and former WIU Professor of Art Michael Mahoney, to honor civil right pioneer Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian.
The work, which will be displayed on the northern wall of the 135 N Randolph building, depicts Dr. Vivian late in life looking over the course of his storied lifetime from a young man graduating from Macomb High School and Western Illinois University through his varied experiences as a Reverend and leading activist in The Civil Rights Movement working shoulder to shoulder with Rev. Martin Luther King and life long friend Rep. John Lewis to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barrack Obama. At 18 feet high and nearly 75 feet long, Rev. C. T. Vivian: Life of a Servant Leader will be McDonough County’s largest mural.
MBA 50th Anniversary Mural
In recognition of their 50th anniversary in 2022, the Macomb Beautiful Association has planned a mural for the residents and visitors of the City of Macomb. The 67 x 12 foot mural will be displayed on the north wall of Gelsosomo’s Pizza building at the intersection of Routes 67 & 136, is planned to be unveiled in June. The design of the mural, which depicts a bucolic rural farm setting, was intended to reflect the essence Macomb’s beautiful community and its many talented residents.
Additionally there is the urban inspired spray paint mural on the 116 W. Jackson St. building in Macomb that houses The Study coffee house. Other mural projects from Sports Corner and Build A Better Block are now in the planning phases.