The Power of art to Transform

By Anne E. O’Keefe
Rockford Area Arts Council

Local muralist, Mark Adamany, was hired to create a piece of artwork at a pretty unusual place, the 2015 Rockford Business Expo held at Giovanni’s in September. Ticomix, located in Loves Park, is a leader in IT and business technology consulting since 2000 and was a host vendor for the event.

For now the work is on display at the Rockford Public Library on the third floor and will eventually be touring the city so that many people can see it.

Ticomix commissioned this work because they wanted to do something different in their space. We love the way they think and encourage you to do the same.

“We saw this as an opportunity to go beyond ourselves and do a couple of really good things for the community,” said Tim Ancona, Ticomix CEO. “First, we could promote the arts by working with one of the top local artists on something that would really inspire people. Second, we could promote a great movement, Transform Rockford, and help spread the vision of each one of us being a ‘superhero’ of transformation throughout the city.”

Mark J. Adamany established Adamany Art & Design in Rockford in 1994. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rockford University and began working as a graphic designer. This project was the perfect challenge for Adamany ( He did some work on the piece before the Expo to ensure the work was up to his standard of excellence but was strategic in leaving enough of the work to create a ‘WOW factor’ for event attendees. Adamany believes he did just that. In total, the piece took about three-and-a-half weeks to finish.

Adamany told me where his inspiration came from. “The inspiration came from the idea that anyone can be a superhero in building this (or any) community. I fleshed out the Superhero theme as it was from Ticomix’s marketing materials from the previous year. They want to be ‘Superheroes’ in their industry,” Adamany said. Adamany and Mike Roberts, Vice President of Marketing for Ticomix, spent many hours brainstorming ideas, however the idea of the child came immediately to Adamany’s mind.

“So, knowing that I began posing my two youngest kids in various, ‘go after it’ poses, ultimately deciding on a certain pose I had my son do for some pics,” Adamany stated.

Adamany’s work typically depicts visual metaphors and this piece is no exception. It is designed to make you stop, look and think. The images are truly engaging and the artist hopes you find something new each time you view it.

“I certainly hope this will help fight the negative mindset that seems to be so common in our community. The mural depicts ‘ruin’, be it physical (buildings, neighborhoods, old school thinking, etc.) and the aspirations and determination of an everyday kid wanting to do something about it. The piece is laden with all kinds of symbolism. Come see for yourself. It can mean 100 different things to 100 different people. That’s the beauty of it!”

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