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Pictures perfect: Madison embarks on Mural Trail

MADISON – A pair of murals were unveiled Monday in the city of Madison as the opening for the Madison Mural Trail. Madison Visionary Partners (MVP), a community nonprofit, worked for more than a year to bring the projects to life.  

“The Madison Mural Trail is truly a grassroots effort that began with a group of community members who wanted to see more public art in our city,” said Melanie Thornton, MVP executive director. “MVP was happy to spearhead this project for our community.”

The organization’s mission is to enrich the quality of life for the City of Madison.

“Our area of greatest impact is investing in Madison’s public spaces,” said Thornton. 

According to Thornton, the creation of engaging public spaces can bring communities together by encouraging interaction and connectivity.

“Public art enhances the quality of life for our community, and these first murals highlight the city of Madison in thoughtful and unique ways,” said Mayor Paul Finley, “As mayor and Council, we appreciate Madison Visionary Partners for their efforts in raising funds and launching the Madison Mural Trail.

“The local artists MVP commissioned have truly captured the heart of Madison through their incredible talent.”

Artist Ann Moeller with “March of the Monarch” (256 Today)

The first mural, “March of the Monarch,” is at the Avenue at 92 Shorter Street, just outside of Honest Coffee Roasters. Created by local artist Ann Moeller, it pays homage to the monarch butterfly — Alabama’s state insect and a symbol of transformation and community, which also represents Madison’s own growth and transformation.

The “March of the Monarch” also aims to raise awareness about the monarch’s migration journey, with Madison being a part of this important path.

MVP received funding from the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors, Toyota Alabama, Sealy Management and Bank Independent for the monarch mural.

Bank Independent’s Tim Singleton said the bank has multiple locations in Madison, including its newest branch on County Line Road, and being part of the community means supporting the community.       

“We really felt that it was important to make an investment in the beauty and the quality of life with our Madison residents,” said Singleton, the bank’s executive vice president and area president of the Eastern region. “This is a beautiful mural and we’re on the Monarch Butterfly Trail. We are happy to be part of this fitting tribute to the beauty and quality of life in Madison.”

The second mural, “Madison Station,” is on the side of 14 Main Street in historic downtown Madison. This mural celebrates Madison history and is specifically designed to engage children through the colorful, artistic style of North Alabama artist Sonya Clemons, also known as the Art Lady.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts and State Rep. Parker Moore funded the “Madison Station” mural.

Rep. Parker Moore on the important role of Madison history (256 Today)

Standing in front of the mural, Moore (R-Madison) said he majored in history and is proud to be part of the effort to highlight Madison’s path.  

“Being born and raised here in this community, I think it’s important to know where we’ve been so we know where we’re going. Especially with the growth we’re experiencing here,” he said. “It’s important for people coming here to know our culture, our past and who we are as a community.”

Each mural will have its own dedicated webpage on the MVP site that will delve further into their subject matter. Partnering with community organizations such as the Huntsville Botanical Garden and the Madison Station Historic Society to provide the site’s information, MVP also plans to offer educational programming and activities to complement the murals.

“These murals will easily become two of the most photographed places in Madison, driving even more people to our downtown area and local businesses,” said Thornton. “But they both have an educational component to them that is important.”

“Madison Station,” by the Art Lady, Sonya Clemons, is located on the side of 14 Main Street in historic
downtown Madison. (256 Today)

For more information, visit www.mvpmadison.org/muraltrail.

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