Downtown Rochelle, where a bit of Americana exists thanks to a team of local artists. The first in a series of three murals has been placed along the side of a Downtown Rochelle business at 417 Cherry Avenue, which has residents and visitors excited about what is to come.
Fran Volz, a Rochelle artists who has used various mediums including snow and straw to bring his creations to life in the community, painted Marilyn Monroe to generate some excitement about the Downtown area.
“I painted her on sort of a personal whim. She is an iconic figure whose beauty I always admired,” said Volz.
The 12 foot by 11 foot painting was created using sheets of plywood inside an open Downtown Rochelle space and affixed to the wall while the artist and his crew took turns checking to see that the work looked just right.
“It’s a lot different than painting a two by two canvas. The eye or shoulder might be as large as your head. There is quite a bit of physical labor involved here,” Volz shared.
Two additional paintings will be joining the Monroe in the next couple of months. Volz shared his idea with local art instructors Bob Donovan and John Dobbs who connected him with lauded art students. Mario Rocha began a painting of John Wayne which will be completed by Cecilia Schmitt and affixed in the 400 block of Lincoln Highway. A rendition of Elvis playing for his crowd painted by Alva Valle will soon grace the 500 block of 4th Avenue.
Each painting takes approximately 80 hours to complete. Volz donated his time and talent to create excitement around the project. The group is looking for grant funding for the student work and for future projects.