AURORA | Two blocks of Clinton Street in northwest Aurora will soon be receiving a colorful face lift with a touch of Eastern Europe.
In coordination with several other city agencies, Aurora’s Art in Public Places Commission last month selected Lakewood-based muralist Yulia Avgustinovich to lead an expansive community art project intended to connect the forthcoming Stanley Marketplace on Dallas Street with the neighboring Aurora Cultural Arts District to the south. Planned to be impermanent, the images will be splashed onto the street itself, totaling up to 40,000 square feet of asphalt, according to Roberta Bloom, public art coordinator for the city.
The project comes with a $20,000 commission from the city’s capital improvement fund.
Born in Baranovichi, Belarus, Avgustinovich attended art college in Minsk, Belarus before going on to continue her study of public and monumental art at the St. Petersburg Art and Industry Academy in Russia. A Lakewood resident as of December 2015, she said that she will use heavy paint intended for marking traffic lines on roads to complete her design, which features flowers, the trolley trailer permanently housed at the Aurora History Museum and several flying machines in honor of the Stanley building’s history as an aviation manufacturing facility.
“The main theme is aviation because Stanley Aviation was the name of the factory and right behind the facility was the old Denver airport,” she said. “Other themes are flowers and plants because Aurora has so many parks, and I think flowers are a symbol of growth, development and rebirth.”
Avgustinovich won’t be completing the mural alone, however, as residents are being recruited and encouraged to help the Belarusian artist complete the two-block-long piece over the course of two weekends at the end of August and beginning of September.
“The idea is to encourage people to participate in art, and encourage everyone to give it a go,” said Peg Alt, community development outreach specialist with the city’s Neighborhood Services Department. “We’re paving the way to Stanley.”
Slated to house more than 50 businesses ranging from florists to yoga studios to beer gardens, the 100,000-square-foot Stanley Marketplace is expected to slowly open over the course of the fall, according to a July 27 newsletter.
Alt said that she had received more than 30 inquiries regarding volunteering opportunities just two days after first putting out the call to the public on Facebook. She said that she’s hopping to recruit about 80 volunteers a day, or 20 people per shift, to complete the project. Shifts will be held at the following times: 9 a.m. – noon, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., noon – 3 p.m., and 2 – 4 p.m.
Avgustinovich said she’s cautiously optimistic about working with such a large group of volunteers, but believes that participating in the project will help residents take ownership of their neighborhood.
“When people participate in the creation of a project like this, hopefully they will respect it better and maybe be more proud of their community,” she said.
Volunteers interested in helping to complete the mural are encouraged to email Alt directly at [email protected] Those interested in helping can choose to lend a hand during one of the several aforementioned shifts on Aug. 27, Aug. 28, Sept. 10 and Sept. 11.