Downtown gateway mural complete

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People traveling to downtown Youngstown via Market Street now have a beautiful sight to behold. A local artist has put the finishing touches on a colorful mural celebrating the comeback of downtown Youngstown.

Titled “Welcome to Youngstown” the mural, painted on a vacant building at 519 Market St., was three months in the making. It’s the first thing that catches the eye entering into downtown.

Artist Christian Mrosko of Liberty said he was approached by Community Corrections Association CEO Richard Billak to create artwork that would depict the renaissance of Youngstown and the activity that continues to grow in the downtown area. Billak and CCA have been instrumental in turning many blighted buildings and vacant lots into gardens and refurbished sites as part of programming at CCA, a half-way house for non-violent offenders.

Mrosko focused on the arts in the mural embracing music and entertainment along with other events that take place downtown.

“There’s festivals down there in the summer too, so I had that kinda feeling going on,” said Mrosko.

The seasoned artist has done other paintings similar to the downtown mural, creating a life-like effect with oils and enamels. Mrosko also was charged with creating the mural on the side of the Youngstown Playhouse building on Glenwood Avenue.

“Usually high contrast colors, bright colors, large shapes help things to visually have more punch,” said Mrosko.

Thomas Pregi of Boardman has been keeping an eye on the progress and is happy with the results and the message the mural is sending.

“It shows redevelopment of downtown Youngstown and Youngstown’s coming back after all these years,” he said.

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