ALTON - The Alton Ripple Reveal Street Mural Party showed the vibrancy and beauty of artist Joe Miller’s work Thursday night in Downtown Alton. There were a lot of smiles and people who commended the world-renowned artist’s work on State Street.

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Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Main Street, said Miller, the artist now from Chicago and originally from Staunton, was ready to come home and do a mural and she said she couldn’t be more proud that it happened and of his completed work.

“We are always on a lookout for things like this to bring people to Downtown Alton,” she said. “It is an amazing feeling that so many people attended here tonight and we have a wonderful team like to see cool things of this nature happen. We are all celebrating here tonight and really appreciate all our sponsors and volunteers to do what we do.”

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The mural was sponsored by a Greater Gateway of Realtors Placement Grant and private fund-raising through Alton Main Street.

“The fact I got to plant a seed with Sara and see it grow like this is what makes it exciting already in itself,” Miller said. “You never know what is going to come out of it and when it does, it is really exciting. When she said let’s do it on the street, this is my first-ever active street-level mural creation and I was able to learn a lot and connect with new and old friends as well. This is a style I have been able to be known for.

“The colors and shapes are simple, but still adding some vibrancy, but complex. The idea was to set the tone for future murals here in Alton to have a similar tone. The people helped move us all week with positive energy. We feel the impact and don’t see wonderful media coverage like this ever or an opening like this. This made us feel really good about the project.”

Alton Mayor David Goins beamed with pride at the new street mural: “This is a wonderful thing to happen in our community and see this beautiful mural on our street. I am so proud to witness and see it. It is a nice way to show we will accept ideas of cultural creativity. This painting is an awesome thing. We want to thank the painter and hopefully, this is the beginning of many more great things like this.”

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