PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Notable stories of Peorians are brought to life through eight augmented-reality murals, now on display at the Peoria Public Library Main Branch.
Big Picture Peoria is launching a new series of Portraits of Peoria murals, a combination of art and technology featuring a historical figure from Peoria. The team of creators includes eight artists, nine actors, historians, a film crew and app developers, all from Peoria.
“We honor Central Illinoisans who made an impact, not even just locally, but in many cases globally as well… We want Peorians to understand the significance of those who came before them,” said Dr. Mae Gilliland Wright, executive director of Big Picture Peoria.
The portraits are designed to help educate and celebrate the diverse and important contributions of notable people who called Peoria home. They are displayed on the library’s big windows facing Main Street. Visitors use a specially-designed app to access the augmented reality feature.
“You hold your phone up… after it scans the mural, then a video of that person pops up and they tell you about their life and all that they’ve done… We’re bringing these stories literally to life,” said Wright.
Jennifer Davis, public relations manager at Peoria Public Library said the library is the perfect location for the art installation.
“Libraries are the keepers of local history. So to have these murals on our windows not only brightens our space, but it’s just perfect that they’re here. It makes sense that they’re here,” she said.
“It’s easily accessible to the public, we’ve got buses that go by here. This is a place where we already celebrate history so it just made sense,” added Wright.
Davis said public art is important to the community.
“It’s more than just something pretty to look at. It’s an investment in our community,” she said.
The free “Portraits of Peoria” app launches on Oct. 15. Wright said they hope to expand the collection in the future.