Artist Julii McMillan next to her creation “Monarch Monolith” in front of the courtyard of Peterborough Square. It took her and her assistant Samantha Chiusolo three and a half days to do it. Photo by David Tuan Bui.

The murals are located just outside the courtyard of Peterborough Square and on the corner of George Street and King Street along the Village of Thai building.

These artworks serve as DBIA’s renewed focus on street art as a means of creating an attractive downtown area.

The Peterborough Square piece is a monarch-themed mural created by artist Julii McMillan and her assistant Samantha Chiusolo. A large, defunct pillar near the entrance to the market hall, below the clock tower, has been repurposed. The column, described as butterfly-like, has undergone a metamorphosis and now stands as a magnificent cylindrical work of art.

“Public art is powerful. It can bring people together about shared values, inspire pride and responsibility in the surrounding community,” McMillan said. “It brings color and joy and moments of discovery for all ages when they stumble upon it. Art in public space is site-defining. It challenges us to stop and pay attention, to wonder and play a little more.”

It took artist Katie Irwin about a week to paint her “Boro” mural on the side of the Village of Thai on the corner of George Street and King Street. Photo by David Tuan Bui.

The other mural, titled “Welcome to The Boro,” is approximately 105 square feet and was installed to greet visitors and refresh the experience upon entering downtown. It was created by Katie Irwin who has exhibited her work at the First Friday Art Crawl and Art Gallery of Peterborough.

The mural depicts Peterborough in its natural setting, with the Otonabee River flowing through the image.

“These two new murals will generate foot traffic and interest in the area. We were inspired by First Friday PTBO, which had great success a few years ago with a mural by Kathryn Durst in Bankers Commons on Water Street,” said Terry Guiel, DBIA Managing Director. “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to add more art to our vibrant downtown. Street art plays a critical role in creating safe and welcoming spaces, connecting people to public spaces while raising the profile of our local arts community.”

Both murals were funded by the Canadian Government’s Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

The DBIA, along with 36 other regional tourism organizations, has received $2.8 million in support for tourism relief in the Peterborough, Kawarthas and Northumberland regions.

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