In 2013, DSI created a new program to seed more public art throughout the downtown. Public art has been a force for economic development at least since the Great Depression, when the federal government paid hundreds of unemployed artists to create murals, sculpture and other artworks that grace federal buildings to this day. Today’s public art projects promote economic vitality by creating a foundation for community identity, a marker of quality of life, and a signal to businesses that value culturally vibrant communities.

“ARTification” is managed by DSI’s volunteer Design Committee, which includes staff from the Springfield Art Association. The first big splashes came with the help of the City of Springfield and Central Area Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars. Many projects are now funded by private donors and grants.


President Lincoln

With support from the City, DSI contracted for the first ARTification mural in 2013 to be painted by Springfield native Michael Mayosky, an artist who uses a technique called pointillism. He painted a 2,220 sq. ft mural of Young Abe as a surveyor on the side of The Alamo at 5th and Jefferson. Pointillism is small dots forming a larger image.

Farmer’s Market

In 2015, DSI first contracted with Springfield native Troy Freeman, an artist who has since gone on to paint large installations on barns and buildings across the Midwest as Freesky Studios. He developed an elaborate city/farm scene for the Buzz Bomb Brewing building at the corner of 4th and Adams to celebrate the 16th year of the Old Capitol Farmers Market. The City once again sponsored this mural.

Frank Lloyd Wright

In 2017, DSI contracted with Troy again to pay homage to Frank Lloyd Wright and his designs at the Dana Thomas House, with a large-scale rendering of a Prairie Sumac window on the back of the building at 5th and Monroe owned by realtor Curtis Tillett. Sponsors of the mural were Tillett; AIA Illinois, the statewide organization of architects; and the City of Springfield.


DSI’s annual Art Alley Pop Up was launched in 2017 in the alley running east-west between 4th and 5th Streets, between Washington and Adams Street. This event beautifies the alley through the addition of mural art produced by local artists, which is then unveiled at a dance club meets appetizers meets community paint night event for all ages.


Downtown’s only (to date) creative crosswalk was painted in 2015 at 6th and Washington. Artists Erin Svendsen and Corrin McWhirter (both SAA staff at the time) designed a “Lincoln Abbey” theme, with the Lincoln family walking the crosswalk like the Beatles cover of Abbey Road. It is touched up several times a year and leads you right to the Presidential Library and Museum. The City sponsored this Crosswalk and DSI created companion T-shirts to sell to the public to raise money for additional public art projects.


The Springfield Art Association hosts summertime mural camps for high school seniors and their contributions have been gorgeous! Find out how to participate.

  • Mural Series, A Net to Snare the Moon, 4th & Jefferson
  • Mural Series, Illinois History, on Clearlake Avenue west of MLK Dr
  • Mural, Flowers at Wild Rose boutique, 6th & Jefferson
  • Mural, Rt 66, North Peoria Road


      The purpose of ARTificiation is to seed public art in the downtown neighborhood, as well as to encourage other property owners and artists to continue to add new works on their own. We’re thrilled about these additional murals.

      • Island Paradise and Sunflower Field 6th Street Alley(Michael Mayosky)
      • Farewell to Lincoln, 10th & Monroe (Michael Mayosky)
      • Green Goddess, Myers Building at 4th & Washington (Troy Freeman)
      • Lincoln at 421 E Capitol (Cat Claussan)
      • Teal Butterflies, alley at 215 S 5th (PCASA)
      • Spraypaint, alley at 414 E Monroe (Lindsay Grawey & Spencer Stokes)
      Main Street America


      3 W Old State Capitol Plaza
      Suite 15
      Springfield, IL 62701
      P: (217) 544-1723


      Stay Connected to everything amazing that Downtown Springfield has to offer.

      Main Street America


      3 W Old State Capitol Plaza
      Suite 15
      Springfield, IL 62701
      P: (217) 544-1723




      Stay Connected to everything amazing that Downtown Springfield has to offer.