Artist gives new look to city garage. ‘Public art is an absolute honor.’

The latest addition to the growing gallery of downtown murals is complete.

The large-scale artwork is located on Dayton’s transportation center garage at Fifth and Jefferson streets near the entrance to the Oregon District.

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Artist Atalie Gagnet, a Dayton native, painted vertical bands in cream, red and greenish-yellow on the 80-foot tall concrete garage. Below the curve of colors, a red orb sits above descending lines of blue in varying lengths.

Gagnet recently completed a new mural with poetry by Sierra Leone at the Levitt Pavilion. In June she and artist Tiffany Clark created a mural to honor the lives lost in the Oregon District mass shooting.

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The new garage design was inspired by cross-continental meditative art practices with an unintentional nod to art deco, according to Gagnet’s artist statement. The painting plays with the vertical and horizontal lines of the garage.

“This piece is different for me because I’ve always had to design based on a client, said Gagnet, who estimates she has created nearly 70 artworks. “This is my first actual art piece that I’ve gotten to paint outside.”

Gagnet spent weeks on a towering lift painting the mural. She often worked into the evening as the city became quiet giving her time to reflect.

“The moon came out and it was dusk, and I was up there looking at the city I grew up in, painting this wall 80-feet in the air by myself,” she said. “I thought about what I had accomplished and started crying. It was really a beautiful experience.”

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Dozens of murals have popped up across the city in recent years. The transportation center mural was created with the Art Intersections Public Art program, a partnership between The Dayton Contemporary and the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

“Public art is an absolute honor. Public art is for everyone,” Gagnet said.

“Public art is for the under served in the community. Public art is for people who aren’t educated in art and don’t feel comfortable going into an art museum. Public art is for the kids who don’t have art in their schools. We need more of this.”

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