A mere half-mile from campus, there is a larger-than-life artistic tribute to the community of Beloit. A mural painted by local kids adorns a long metal fence facing Broad Street. It depicts Beloit landmarks and icons, from the Ironworks, to turtles, to our very own Middle College.
The mural was a collaborative project with a pragmatic inception. With graffiti marring the fence and presenting an eye-sore to visitors and passing motorists, the city gave property owner Brad Lawver a few weeks to clean it up at the beginning of last summer. Lawver started working with the Merrill Community Center, the city, and the Doodles art studio to get the project off the ground.
Those involved hoped that devoting the space to art by kids would deter graffiti and vandalism, while also becoming a point of community pride.
Brad Carey, who rents the property on Broad Street for his auto shop Ace Auto, says replacing the graffiti with the mural has worked so far. “It has been successful,” he says. “There has been no tagging at all.”
Next time you find yourself on a stroll south of campus, check out this piece of public art, and see if you can spot the Beloit College buildings it depicts.