Nate Reilly, a resident of Niagara Falls, had proposed an idea for a mural that could help to beautify a highly utilized area near his home in the North End of the City of Niagara Falls. Although that particular wall is not yet ready for a mural, Reilly’s design found a home on a wall at 2245 Whirlpool Avenue next to the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center and U.S. Customs House.
Reilly’s intention with his mural is to help uplift the community and make people smile by offering a welcoming message. That intention was the inspiration behind his design, which features approximately 50 smiling faces of community members, using his signature cartoon-influenced, color-blocking style. The mural will also feature the quote, “Take a smile, leave a smile.”
The piece is located right near the U.S-Canada border, facing the entrance from the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge into the North End of Niagara Falls. It’s will be one of the first views of America that people receive when they cross over. That means it serves as a statement not just about Niagara Falls, but about what the country can be — a symbol of hope and unity.