© 2024 Peoria Public Radio
A joint service of Bradley University and Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Big Picture Peoria launches online interactive art map

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council features a new interactive art map of Peoria on their website.
Isabela Nieto
The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council features a new interactive art map of Peoria on its website.

Big Picture Peoria has collaborated with development organizations to launch an interactive art mural map, featuring murals created by local artists.

The inspiration for the program comes from the desire to help residents and visitors find public art in the Peoria area. Big Picture Peoria was commissioned to create the story map by using photographs of murals and pinning them to their locations in a Google map.

Doug Leunig, one of the founders and current board president of Big Picture Peoria, said the map is linked to the reason Big Picture Peoria was founded in the first place.

The installation of a mural called Abraham Blue initiated Big Picture Peoria’s mural installation projects. Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s struggle with depression, the mural commemorates Lincoln’s speech against slavery in Peoria during his presidency.

Leunig said the community that supported Lincoln in his struggle with depression has inspired the creation of this map.

“So with that in mind, we went forward to the broader range of how the arts help healing, and how things like street festivals bring people together where they wouldn't naturally or normally be together,” he said.

While many murals have been logged on the map already, artists and residents are able to submit new murals to add to the map.

Eileen Leunig, secretary treasurer and co-founder of Big Picture Peoria, said the collaboration to create the program stems from a desire for the community to come together and enjoy art.

“I think what the public needs to know is how public art really adds to the vibrancy of a community. And this work is obviously there for free, all you have to do is just show up and look at it,” she said.

The map can be found on Big Picture Peoria’s website as well as the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council website. Artists who would like to submit their finished murals or residents who would like to submit a new mural to the map can email Eileen Leunig at dande@bigpicturepeoria.org or bigpicturepeoria@gmail.com with a photograph of the work, the artist’s name, and the location of the mural.

Isabela Nieto is a student reporting intern at WCBU. Isabela is also a student at Bradley University in Peoria.