Art mural project rejuvenates downtown Wilmington

 (Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

(Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

As business continues to grow along Market Street in downtown Wilmington, local artists from the Creative Visions Factory will get to showcase their work in an effort to make vacant store fronts attractive.

On Thursday, Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams along with officials from Downtown Visions and the Creative Vision Factory came together to unveil a window art project displayed at the 400 block of N. Market Street.

“While the building owner is attracting tenants, the artwork gives it a lively look opposed to a vacant storefront,” said Marty Hageman of Downtown Visions.

According to Hageman, every little improvement in the downtown area, which covers a 70 block radius, is greatly appreciated although vacant storefronts are limited.

“There aren’t as many vacant spaces in the downtown area because they’re filling up and that’s a good thing,” said Hageman.

Downtown Visions provided the funding for this particular project involving Creative Vision artists that allows people with behavioral health issues to express themselves through art.

“The reason why we did this is so we can leverage the attention that block receives, and our community has a high level of talent that can be apart of this,” said Michael Kalmbach of the Creative Vision Factory.

Wilmington police officer Malcolm Stoddard, who frequently patrols the downtown district, spearheaded the art program aimed at reducing crime. As a result, several murals have been installed including one at 8th and Market St. but by a different group and set of artists.

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