Large public art mural in Ithaca, NY: Rudbeckia hirta

by Kellie Cox


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Throughout my life I've been very involved in art and horticulture. I recently became involved in mural installations in Ithaca, NY and have found it is my life passion! I absolutely love painting super large murals. How I became involved in mural installation was last year I was part of this project called 21 Boxes. The City of Ithaca Public Art Commission (PAC) selected 21 artists to transform 21 plain, utilitarian electrical boxes into beautiful, inspiring workds of public art. The project was designed to enhance the City of Ithaca by adding works of art to the downtown streetscape on surfaces that are often overlooked or vandalized.  My electrical box mural focused on botanical studies, specifically native plants of New York.  The project received a tremendous amount of positive feedback and since then has expanded its mural project ideas, including this one!  

Public art is important because it enhances a city quality of life by taking the places where we live, work and love by creating a more welcoming and beautiful place. It also creates a deeper interaction between the community and its environment by adding dimension to civic spaces. Lastly it allows the community to express its identity and values!  My murals mostly focus on botanical studies, specifically native plants for this region.  My goal is to not only to enhance a plain wall but also to educate the public on native plants.  

The Ithaca Public Art Commission has approved my wall space and design, now we are looking for funding! The wall I have chosen in downtown Ithaca is very special for several reasons; the wall space has unique angles and is a blank canvas that is begging to be painted on! Being in downtown Ithaca, this wall is directly across the street from Bool’s Flower Shop. This flower shop is one of the oldest businesses in town (since 1894). This mural facing Bool’s Flower Shop would be a great match and I think will help promote horticulture businesses! I chose a specific botanical study, Black Eyed Susan since it has many details in its flower and is native to the New York region. This plant has a burst of bright yellow petals during the heat of summer, interesting pattern of stamens and has very furry stems.

The size of the mural is around 20 ft wide by 25 feet tall. It is going to be such an awesome project! The photo in this project page is a sketch design of the mural itself.  The project funding will go directly to materials needed to install the mural, including paint, brushes, a ladder, and more.  Any extra funding will go directly to developing new murals in downtown Ithaca.  I am hoping to complete the project in the next few months, around spring time. You can visit my main art website at or visit my facebook page!   Thank you for taking the time to visit my project page and I really appreciate your contribution to the project, any amount helps!  

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