A new mural has appeared in a central Champaign neighborhood, beckoning all who pass it to snap a photo and forget their troubles for awhile, while basking in its simple beauty.
Called @FlyByProspect, the life-sized butterfly wings appeared on this Prospect Avenue fence on Sept. 16. It is located south of Springfield Avenue and north of Green Street, on the east side of the street.
The wings are painted with a space for a person to stand, making it a perfect photo backdrop.
“Kristen loves the wings you see in larger cities, and had the idea to do something similar here,” Pelz said. “Something nice for us, but also something fun for the community, for visitors, whoever. We had that giant blank slate to work with.”
Pelz and Wilson commissioned local Champaign graffiti artist Cody Shinker to paint the butterfly wings.
“Kristen found him, gave him our idea and he came with a few sketches,” Pelz said.
Skinker’s handiwork can be found around the community, including Spalding Skate Park; see highlights of his past projects on Instagram (@GratefulZoot).
Below is a short video of the creation of the mural.
“We love walking around our neighborhood, and wanted to provide something fun and interesting for people to experience on their walks,” said Pelz, a self-described townie who grew up on Arlington Court, just around the corner from his current home.
The backdrop even has a step stool to make it easier for smaller visitors to take a photo. Behind the fence there is a garden with a pond, a peaceful place where the public is invited.
“We want everyone to visit, and my 9-year old was the first to test the step stool,” Pelz said.
As for what’s next for the project, Pelz said the couple has plans to add more unique attributes to their home – but they will have to wait until after the couple’s upcoming nuptials.
“We have more plans for the tree stump out front, to turn that into a Gnome Home with more gardens, but those are on hold until after the wedding,” he said.
The butterfly wings artwork in Champaign is reminiscent of the Global Angel Wings Project, an interactive public art display created in 2012, in the streets of Los Angeles. It has now spread around the world.
Want to visit another wing mural? There’s one as close as Decatur. Renowned muralist Kelsey Montague visited in July to paint 15-foot wings in an interactive public art display on the wall of the Decatur Civic Center. Montague has painted more than 300 murals, with three of them in the Chicago area.
How to get to the @FlyByProspect mural:
– Prospect is a busy street, and be careful when visiting the mural.
– If driving, park on Healey Street east of Prospect.
– Here are Google map directions.