Third mural proposed for downtown Utica

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 30, 2019

  Jessica Spiegel holds a draft of the mural that she designed for downtown Utica.

Jessica Spiegel holds a draft of the mural that she designed for downtown Utica.

Photo by Kara Szymanski


UTICA — More colorful art is coming to the downtown area of Utica due to the city’s commitment to work with local muralists.

During the city’s Downtown Development Authority meeting Sept. 26, the DDA entered an agreement with a resident and artist after seeing her artwork both in progress and on paper. The proposed mural will cost the city approximately $3,100.

Jessica Spiegel, of Utica, had met with the Utica City Council and the Downtown Development Authority to show her work and discuss the possibility of working with the city on a new mural.

Mayor Thom Dionne said there are more mural projects planned in the near future. The design shown Sept. 26 is still being vetted, he said.

“We are excited that the new mural is going to bring an additional art piece to the city. Utica is changing from a drive-by city to a city of culture, and becoming a destination in Macomb County. We are anticipating five or six murals in the downtown district. We will only be painting brick walls that have already been painted in the past. We have had tremendous amounts of positive feedback already. Residents and visitors appear to really appreciate the artwork,” Dionne said.

Spiegel said she is excited to be able to take on this opportunity to create something beautiful for Utica.

“I’m really excited to work on this project with the city, and in the end it makes downtown Utica look better,” she said.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me to get to do (the mural), so I’m really excited to do it, and being asked, it’s an honor,” Spiegel said.

Spiegel’s mural design shows a person with red, spiky hair listening to music with a guitar on the side and an array of bright colors in the background. It is proposed to go on Deanna’s Men’s Styling Shop, which is on Auburn Road just before Brownell Street, on the barbershop’s wall that faces City Hall.

“Something bright (and) vibrant to draw people in; (I’m) hoping to appeal to a young crowd and everyone else,” Spiegel said.

She said the reason she chose the details she did in the mural was because she could relate to them herself.

“Music has always been a big part of my life. ... I was in a band at a young age,” Spiegel said.

She hopes that everyone will enjoy her artwork.

“I’m hoping everyone will want to go see it and like the content I chose,” said Spiegel.

Spiegel also recently created a small mural in the Utica tunnel, which is open to all to view. The mural includes two sets of wings with different shades of colors. The city liked the mural so much that it decided to reimburse her in the amount of $200 for the artwork on the tunnel.

The city has agreed to look into using the same company to prep the mural site as the one that prepped the WeatherTech building with paint, and the city estimates that it will cost around $2,000.

The city was hoping to have the mural done by Nov. 1.

For more information, call the city at (586) 739-1600.