An ending could soon be seen for a popular mural in town.
Michael Pilato, the local artist who created the mural “Inspiration” on Heister Street, has made several more additions to it, with plans to expand it into small murals and complete it by summer 2013.
Pilato said he recently painted in Kelsey Hirsch, a 13-year-old girl who has raised more than $20,000 for the organization Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, beneath where Dora McQuaid is sitting.
He said he has also removed all the halos on the mural and replaced them with the dates of birth and death.
“With the recent scandal, it became very clear to me that people were taking [the halos] as canonization, like sainthood,” Pilato said. “I should have known that from the beginning.”
Pilato said he originally painted the haloes to represent the short time that people have on Earth, but said the new addition will do the same.
He said they are also working to restore and retouch the mural because it has begun to fade, and said he hopes to add to it. He said he wants to add the Penn State Blue Bland, the Nittany Lion, Mike Herr, the campus mailman, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, creators of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand and others to create more diversity.
“All of my murals, they’re living murals,” Pilato said. “People who are inspirations are always added to them.”
He said during a time when it seemed like a lot of people outside of Happy Valley were unable to see what the community was truly like, it was important to show them.
Pilato said Penn State should be very proud of these people, and that was why he was adding them to the mural.
He said his school, the Public Art Academy, will be selling bricks, which will make up a new sidewalk beneath the mural.
Jim Rosenberger, a member of the State College Borough Council, said he knew some of the recent additions worked to protect children.
“I’m always pleased to see that mural because it’s a dynamic change in portrait of our community,” Rosenberger said. “These latest additions continue to add to that.”
Likewise, Kristin Alcalde (senior-communications) said although the Penn State community itself was not directly involved with the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case, she said it was important to show awareness.
“We’re definitely aware of what’s happening and protecting the kids,” Alcalde said. “It’s good that we’re showing support of the victims.”