Downtown Appleton’s latest crop of public art by artist Irineo Medina emphasizes diversity and inclusion. Medina says he wants to use his heart for racial advocacy to uplift marginalized groups.
In June, Medina completed a new mural on South Appleton Street that depicts two outstretched hands reaching toward a glowing sun. The hands are filled in with swatches of various skin tones.
“That idea came from a larger concept around multicultural diversity and inclusion,” Medina says. “For me, the timing was everything. It was powerful to get that message out as we came up on protests around [the killings of] George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. I thought it was important to have this message in the community so folks would feel supported by it.”
The mural, titled “For Us,” was part of Downtown Creates, a new series presented by Appleton Downtown, Inc. that occurs the third weekend of June through August. The mural is on the east side of the Crazy Sweet building, across from Houdini Plaza.
Most recently, Medina partnered with the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center to complete an eight-piece mural installation along the theme of belonging and togetherness. The murals were installed on the eight pillars of the Fox Cities P.A.C. building facing College Avenue and were unveiled on August 8.
“The P.A.C. is a place where people from all different walks of life have an opportunity to interact where they might not ever cross paths in normal life,” Medina says. “I thought a lot about that intersection when creating these pieces.”