August 19, 2022
Local News | Kane County Chronicle

Local News

Batavia's Water Street Studios to reveal 1st mural in series

Artists paired with nonprofits in public art

BATAVIA – Water Street Studios will kick off its Activate the Alley “pARTnership” project from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17, at 160 S. Water St., Batavia, at a party to reveal the first mural created by a local artist, according to a news release.

To honor Water Street Studios’ 10-year anniversary, it paired 10 local artists with 10 local nonprofit agencies to create outdoor, public art murals that illustrate the programs and services the nonprofits offer.

The murals will be on display in the alley leading up to the entrance of Water Street Studios. The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley supported the Activate the Alley project.

The first mural design was created by artist Laura Lynne for Mutual Ground, which has served the community for more than 40 years by helping survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Mutual Ground Advancement Director Kathy Melone stated in the release that, “We are thrilled to partner with Water Street Studios to promote awareness of our mission and services, and add beauty to our community.”

“We want to make sure that everyone that needs our services knows that we are here to help, every day of the year, free of charge,” Melone stated. “This mural will be a beautiful addition to Batavia and remind victims and survivors of domestic violence that they are not alone, and there is hope.”

Lynne is a mixed-media, hand-cut paper artist and muralist who uses photographs, metallic paper and painted papers to create boldly colored, whimsical artworks.

“A good design, or work of art, can help people to understand a subject more deeply,” Lynne stated in the release. “It has the power to make a strong emotional impact that stays in your memory longer than words alone. My goal was to achieve that with this art.”

The Batavia Woman’s Club sponsored Lynne’s mural creation for Mutual Ground. Its reveal coincides with October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Batavia Woman’s Club member Cynthia Kieckhefer stated in the release that the group was honored to provide financial support for “this wonderful fusion of our nonprofit community.”

“Water Street Studios is a shining example of innovation as it merges art with crucial nonprofits like Mutual Ground,” Kieckhefer stated. “This breathtaking mural is not just an art installation, it is a stunning symbol of what we can create together.

“All our efforts are magnified when we can work together to address the very real needs of human beings in our community – from our artists and Water Street Studios that supports them, to Mutual Ground addressing the needs of women and children who suffer from domestic violence,” Kieckhefer stated.

Batavia Woman’s Club members “will find themselves turning down First and Water streets much more frequently, as we slow down to look at this beautiful mural,” Kieckhefer stated. “We are happy to say we helped create it.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony and uncovering of the first mural is set from 4:30 to 5 p.m., followed by a cocktail party with a cash bar from 5 to 6:30 p.m., along with presentations by Mutual Ground, the Batavia Woman’s Club and Lynne.

The rest of the murals will be revealed through August 2020. The nonprofits and artists participating are:

• Fox Valley Special Recreation Association - Lisa Youngdahl

• CASA Kane County - Bernice Cruz

• Batavia Park District - C.J. Youngerman

• Fox Valley Patriotic Organization - Cheryl Holz

• Association for Individual Development - Ann Blass

• Fox Valley Food for Health - Kit Sunderland

• TriCity Family Services - Maureen Gasek

• Fox Valley Entrepreneurial Center - Dana Parisi