World-renowned artist Julien de Casabianca installed a large mural on the east side of the Kensington Supportive Living Center during his Galesburg residency at the end of September. It turns out the mural did not last for long.
It will be taken down by the end of this week. Days of wind and rain damaged the mural beyond repair, according to Tuesday Cetin, Executive Director of the Galesburg Civic Art Center. The weather prevented the application of a final seal coat that could have protected it from the elements.
Cetin brought de Casabianca to Galesburg and originally expected the mural to last for several years. She thought it might be possible to fix the damage caused by the first storm, but the continuous weather problems did not allow that to happen.
“After being hit with rain and wind every 3-4 days, repairing the damage was just impossible,” she said.
The mural, constructed with paper and adhesives, was part of what de Casabianca called “The Outings Project.” It aims to recreate pieces from inside museums to outdoor spaces for the public to interact with. His Galesburg mural recreated “The Daisy Field,” which was one of the first permanent paintings acquired by the Art Center.
Cetin said that after hearing of the mural’s imminent removal, de Casabianca has offered to come back and install two murals in Galesburg at no cost.
She said the Art Center is considering that possibility, along with exploring opportunities for public murals with other artists.
“This involvement sort of propelled us to figure out what other murals we could tackle in the future,” said Cetin.
Cetin said the Art Center will continue promoting public art installations, despite what happened to de Casabianca’s piece.