The new mural in downtown Moline and the artists behind it

The mural on 5th Avenue is part of the city’s broader plan to bring more public artwork across town.

MOLINE, Ill. — A brand new mural made its debut in downtown Moline with a ribbon cutting.

The art is on 1405 5th Ave. along the Analog Pizza & Arcade building. Two Brooklyn, New York based artists were brought on by the Moline Public Art Commission with assistance by Quad City Arts.

The tag-team artists are Jari “WERC” Alvarez and Gera “GERALUZ” Lozano, who have both created artwork across the country for public, private and commercial pieces.

The couple takes turns, with one artist spending the day painting and the other caring for their 4-year-old son Amaru. That keeps them plenty busy as they travel across the U.S. to fulfill commissions. “Opening your mind, opening your heart, opening your expectations of your own city help you grow as a person too,” Lozano said.

Every brick canvas has its own challenges, like the one they painted on in Moline. “This is a really old building where the bricks are setting back and creates huge gaps,” Lozano explained. “We had to change our whole plan around and we went with completely spraying with minor brushes.”

Mother nature doesn’t always play nice either. “When you’re trying to tape two to five feet of tape to get a straight angle, as you see in the mural, the designs are these straight long lines — with the wind, we kept getting blown away, kept getting unstuck,” Lozano said.

However, behind all that hard work and determination is a vision. “WERC chose the violet as the flower, because it’s the state flower,” Lozano explained about the mural. The art’s broad components, which combines linework with animals, is what GERALUZ said is paying tribute to the past. “For me these patterns are this sense of indigeneity that bring you back right away to this connection to the land.”

It’s a hope to share some joy with the community. “It really nurtures creativity and a dialogue, and it’s a great catalyst for economic development,” Alvarez said.

The mural is the first project for the Moline Arts Commission and is only the beginning for the city. “Some of it will definitely be murals. There are a couple of murals that are in conversation, as well as some potential sculptures, some potential street art and asphalt art specifically,” Quad City Arts executive director Kevin Maynard said.

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