W.O.N. Mural Society. Image 19/20

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"Aurora Eternal" by Marcus Akinlana 2003, 29ft x 17ft (sloping 3ft 6in in ceiling), medium acrylic paint with etched glass mirrors and relief. Location: Aurora Municipal Center, Aurora, Colorado. Sponsored by the City of Aurora, Art in Public Places Commission.

This project sought to tell the rich and illustrious history of the city of Aurora. Once again I chose to create an installation that would consist of multi-media which included, painted mural surfaces on aluminum panels, cast glass sculptures and mirrors enhanced with sandblasted designs.

The project was real fun to create, as I got to indulge in one of my passions, researching the history behind a place, and bringing to life little known facts. I chose to depict interwoven scenes of the adventurous ecological, biological, social and architectural development of Aurora and it's environs from prehistoric times to the present. Key historical figures in Aurora's growth such as real estate developers, Donald Fletcher and colleagues are brought back to life in this permanent installation. I decided to chose different characters in Aurora's history that would on the one hand enthrall all ages and invoke a sense of fun and excitement in the city's historical expansion. Images that are brought to life in the artwork range from Tyrannosaurus Rex, Arapaho and Cheyenne camps, P-51D mustang airforce planes, nurses in action, airforce men, Aurora homesteaders and unique local animals. I also focused on the geographical changes of the area, juxtaposing the environmental physical changes of the land with the human social developments of the area.

Incorporating glass etched mirrors and cast glass relief sculptures into the installation was new. I had already worked with sculptural relief in my public art but not in glass, I wanted to try something different but fresh. Glass has that clean feel to it and the etched mirrors allowed me to explore the concept of the viewer becoming part of the piece. Since the artwork was a celebration of Aurora and it's development, who best to reflect the future of the city but the citizens who inhabit the city?