New downtown mural is a rallying call during the pandemic

A new mural on the Stratacache Tower is a depiction of a historic figure who inspired a country during a time of crisis.

Winston Churchill, prime minister of Great Britain during much of World War II, is the subject of the latest downtown Dayton large-scale painting.

The image of Churchill, wearing his trademark homburg hat, is accompanied by a quote he is associated with, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”

Chris Riegel, the chief executive of Stratacache, chose the image for his building in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Churchill has always been an inspirational figure as one who faced incredible difficulty yet pulled the nation together,” he said. “I think it is kind of an apropos moment as it were.”

This is the second mural in recent weeks painted by artist Erica Arndts on the tower.

Last month she completed a large-scale retro-style postcard that reads ‘”Greetings From Dayton.” Both murals are near the building’s main entrance on Second Street.

The Churchill mural, 15-feet tall and 20-feet wide, looks like a vintage photograph in sepia tones.

The prime minister is making the V-sign signifying “Victory,” a gesture he was often photographed making during the war.

Riegel said he believes Churchill’s quote was meant as a rallying call. “If you were going through a tough time, don’t stop. You have to continue to fight forward.”

“I kind of see the virus as one challenge but the economic challenge that is coming after is going to be an even bigger challenge,” Riegel said. “Just don’t stop. That’s not who we are, that’s not what we do, we continue to fight.”

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