Geneseo adds downtown mural and more are on the way

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
Heidi Hamer, left; a retired Geneseo School District art teacher; Michael Clark, of Clark Signs, Aledo; and Scott Lindley, Mt. Pulaski, (IL) are at work on the mural which is being painted on the outside wall of Geneseo Home Furnishings at 134 South State St. in downtown Geneseo.

The Geneseo Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Mural Projection Party with a crowd of more than 100 guests on Sept. 15.

The event unveiled the first mural of the project to the public by projecting the mural image on the building where it is being completed, on the outside wall of Geneseo Home Furnishings at 134 South State St. in downtown Geneseo.

The Projection Party included live music by John Puentes of In-A-Godda-Da-Vida Music in Geneseo, free snow-cones and a commentary from the artist, Michael Clark of Clark Signs in Aledo.

The artist described how he recreated the historic view of downtown Geneseo on the side of the building.

“I scanned the art work (drawing/photo) into my computer and then I drew over the top of it to create the large poster which I projected on the wall of the building using a digital projector,” Clark said. “The drawing was then traced onto the wall and then we began to fill in the colors. I am hoping we will have the mural completed by this weekend. (Saturday/Sunday, Sept. 17-18)…”That’s how we roll.”

Clark said three volunteer artists stopped by the site Friday morning to help fill in the colors. One of the artists was Heidi Hamer, a retired Geneseo School District art teacher.

The “Welcome to Historic Downtown Geneseo” mural is 12 ft. high and 15 ft. long, and is the only mural to be completed this year.

Zack Sullivan, executive director of the Geneseo Chamber, said, “We have plans for two additional murals in 2023 and at least one in 2024. The mural being completed this weekend is the result of a year of planning and coordination by a group of dedicated volunteers who want to see the arts thrive in Geneseo.”

“The murals painted on blank walls will create a tourist attraction which will add to the beauty of Geneseo and create an increased tourism draw in our community," said Katie Kutsunis, chairperson of the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce Mural Committee.

The Geneseo murals do not promote any currently existing specific business or enterprise, but instead are based upon an overall theme of past, present and future.

Individual designs were selected by a committee of members of the Geneseo business and artistic community.

A fundraising goal has been set to raise $30,000 for the murals, which are priced based on size. There are various fundraising tiers and opportunities and more information is available by contacting the Chamber at 309-944-2686 or by emailing Zack Sullivan, executive director of the Chamber, at

Sullivan said the project is being funded “through the generous donations from Geneseo residents, business owners and organizations.”