Muralist Mary Ryan has been working on completing an outdoor painting on the plaza in Elon’s downtown for less than a week. But the plaza itself, from conception to construction, took much longer than that. Beginning with the town staff announcing plans for an outdoor plaza in downtown Elon in December 2021 and completing construction in December 2023.

The mural features part of the town’s logo, which was decided by town staff members. Ryan said after painting the logo June 2, she felt it was a bit off and had the idea to add leaves along the outside of the logo to balance out the design.

“When you look at a design, if something's out of balance, it really shows,” Ryan said.

Avery Sloan | Elon News Network
Part of the town logo on the mural on Elon's downtown plaza on June 3.

Ryan has painted two previous murals for the town, both in other locations in downtown Elon. The first project was a crosswalk at the intersection of North Holt Avenue and West Lebanon Avenue that incorporates geometric shapes and flowers, while the second project depicts leaves around the outside dining area on West Lebanon Avenue. These murals are a part of the town staff’s goals of bringing more art throughout downtown.

Ryan said as she finishes painting this mural, she has been touching up her other murals at the same time. Even though they are just over 1 year old, they are in high traffic areas — both on foot and by car — and need to be retouched. With outdoor seating around the mural itself, Ryan said she hopes this mural will avoid as much direct foot traffic as possible.