Niles City Council approves two downtown mural projects

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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NILES — Two planned murals aim to enhance the downtown Niles scenery.

The Niles City Council unanimously approved two mural projects – one to be placed on the upper parking deck of the 2nd Street parking lots and the second to be placed in Riverfront Park North in the concrete circle on the north side of the Amphitheater – during Monday’s meeting.

Remarkable Inc. of Niles commissioned the 2nd Street parking lots mural. Artist Taylor Smith has designed a floral concept for the space that includes the message “Keep growing in Niles, Michigan” in it and plans to work in blocks to complete the mural. 

“I think it’s an inspiring little touch,” said Remarkable Inc. President Melanie Kennedy, owner of the Grand LV in Niles.

Kennedy said Smith will begin creating the mural on Tuesday and plans for it to be completed Wednesday, weather permitting. 

“She did some florals for me on our property and they turned out really nice,” Kennedy said. “She was very professional and her timeline was exactly as she said it would be. So I trust her to do this and that will come out just the way she says it will.”

Both the Historic District Commission and the Public Arts Commission have weighed in on the design and approved. Niles Main Street DDA also approved the project and budgeted for its expenses.

“It will have very bright colors, very lively and it’s florals,” she said. “That concrete slab right now is really an eyesore really right now, and it leaves a lot to be desired, so I think this will bring life into it.”

With the Riverfront Park mural, the City of Niles Parks and Recreation Board approved the design of a mural by Ruth Slater to be placed in Riverfront Park North at its May meeting.

The mural will be housed in the concrete circle on the north side of the Amphitheater. Slater has designed a koi pond style mural that has potential for expansion into other areas of the park and has a plan for the longevity and preservation of the mural as well. The Niles Public Arts Commission also weighed in on the design and placement of the mural and was pleased to see additional artistic touches in the parks. Should the Council choose to approve the placement and design of the mural, work will begin quickly.