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Celebrations Planned for Macomb Beautiful Association 50th Anniversary

May 19, 2022

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MACOMB, IL – As part of the 50th anniversary of the Macomb Beautiful Association, the organization is unveiling its gift of a mural, completed by Western Illinois University Art Professor Bill Howard, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16, in the parking lot north of Gelsosomo's Pizza on North Randolph Street.

Howard has spent months painting the mural's aluminum panels in his Garwood Hall studio on the WIU campus. The panels will then be attached to the side of Gelsosomo's.

The unveiling ceremony is open to all members of the community, and a private reception for donors and MBA members will be held following the event.

MBA commissioned the 12-foot by 66-foot mural from Howard just over one year ago as a gift to the community for its support of the organization. The space for the mural was donated by Jimmy and Amy Buwick, owners of Gelsosomo's Pizza.

The association was formed in 1972, with a mission of improving the beauty and livability of Macomb. MBA encourages good landscape design and promotes environmental improvement projects, creating an opportunity for public participation.

The mural was paid for by numerous private donations and a grant from the Performing Arts Society at WIU.

This is the second large community mural Howard has been a part of. The first is on the north side of The Old Dairy, which was completed in June 2019, and includes components of Macomb history. He is also a vital part of starting the Rocky on Parade public art project, which includes numerous painted fiberglass bulldogs placed around Macomb, which raises money for scholarships at WIU for art students.

In addition to the unveiling, a community-wide MBA anniversary celebration will be held in Chandler Park from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 18. The event is open free to the public and will include refreshments, music by The EastEnders, tile painting for children, and more. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Macomb Art Center, on the east side of the Macomb square.

For more information about the MBA and its anniversary celebrations, visit, or email

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