New mural being added to a Princeton Historic District building piece by piece

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) -An art project that the RiffRaff Arts Collective in downtown Princeton started early this year, and granted by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, ‘Memories on Mercer Street’ is now recapturing those fond community memories and bringing them to life again through a soon-to-be 10-ft. tall mural.

“Princeton has been, today and at times in the past, a really lively and active town. This is hopefully representing that and that people in the future will see this as theirs,” says mural designer Ellen Elmes.

The mural has been an ongoing project throughout the summer, piecing together individually painted sections of fabric. And between the professional muralist Ellen Elmes who originally designed it, to local artists like Lacy Vilandry who’s in charge of its progress, several hands are playing a role toward getting this art installment complete.

“I’ve been involved with the RiffRaff for a little while now and it became the perfect opportunity to learn about this town’s history and really become integrated with the community,” says Lacy Villandry, lead artist of the project.

Now, piece by piece, the mural is finally being placed on the side of the Kidz at Heart Daycare Center in Princeton’s Historic District, where it’s not only inspiring memories of Mercer Street’s yesteryears but brightening up the community in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.

“I think it’s really important to inspire joy, anything we can do to come together safely and do something that lets people feel good and connected to something positive, that’s really important right now,” Lori McKinney, Director of the RiffRaff Arts Collective says.

The mural truly is the community of Princeton’s story, as old theater-goers, shop clerks, and even railroad workers got to share their memories of the town to be placed in the art piece.

The panels making up the mural are expected to be fully installed in the days ahead, and the Riff Raff plans to hold a community celebration to dedicate it when it’s finally complete.

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