By Mekialaya White

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A brand new series of murals is adding a big display of beauty to downtown Aurora. The recently-installed public art project at the Aurora Fox Theater is part of a collaboration between the theater, History Museum, and Aurora Art in Public Places.

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“This is just really a celebration of the arts,” Aurora Director of Library and Cultural Services Midori Clark told CBS4’s Mekialaya White. “We’re really trying to establish the identity of this area, which is the Aurora Cultural Arts District, through all these beautiful art pieces. And of course these murals just fit right in with that.”

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Midori says bringing light to the area is especially important after a fire engulfed the theater back in 1985. The community came together to rebuild and restore the landmark; people weren’t ready to say goodbye it yet.

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That’s why the display consists of four walls that chronicle its history, as shown by local artist Yulia Avgustinovich. She was commissioned to paint the acrylic murals earlier this year and got to work in mid-July.

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“Each of them show something different,” explained Avgustinovich. “The side facing Colfax is more introductory to show people that it’s actually a drama theater. So its actors who play different roles in masks in all kinds of stage compositions. Another one of them shows the children’s side and the birth of our children. Another is showing the history of the fire and how it was rebuilt with the help of the community. Then, the wall that is facing south is a pre-fire history. It shows the movie theater. People are all dressed in vintage, ‘50s, ‘60s attire.”

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Avgustinovich envisioned the display to be bright, colorful, and optimistic – something that is apparent when you see it. She’s thankful to be able to give back in this way.

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“Every time I create a design, it’s kind of just in my head. When I put it on the wall, I just bring it to life,” Avgustinovich said. “It’s really exciting, especially while I’m painting so many people walk by and tell me how much they like it and that it changed the environment. It makes the atmosphere more positive, safer. It gives the community something to be proud of, now there is art and a mural in their community and it always makes me feel very happy.”

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“It’s a celebration of the area, a celebration of our history, a celebration of the future as well. We want to encourage people to come on down and just enjoy it!” Clark added.

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The murals are on display until further notice, and everyone is welcome to check them out.

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Mekialaya White

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