Partly cloudy skies and slightly cooler weather on Monday gave Dan Mongosa a chance to put finishing touches on a downtown art project he started earlier this month.
“I’ve just always wanted to do something here in town,” he said as he painted in details of a large pair of angel wings on a brick wall on the side of Broadway’s Roberts Law Firm building.
Standing in the alley across from the Peru Police Department, Mongosa talked a little bit about why he picked the wings.
They aren’t a one-off, he explained, they are part of a larger movement known as the Global Angel Wings Project.
That, City Council member Betsy Edwards-Wolfe told fellow Council members at their July 6 meeting, was started by Los Angeles artist Collette Miller in 2012.
Since that time, wings have started cropping up around the country and world.
“We thought maybe we would be the first one here in Indiana, but Evansville just put one in, what two weeks ago?” she said as she introduced Mongosa and the project to Council.
With the blessing of the Council and Roberts Law Firm, Mongosa said he got to work.
Born and raised in Peru, Mongosa told the Tribune on Monday that he moved to Florida in his early 20s but returns home once or twice a year to visit family.
On this most recent trip, a family member had a health emergency which extended his trip.
Mongosa, who does some photography work in Florida and described himself as having a creative streak, said that gave him some time to put the project together.
“So a week turned into three months,” he said. “I wondered if I could get this done.”
The wings, which span about 10 feet or so, are painted in such a way that people can pose in front of them and appear as though the wings are on their shoulders.
That according to Mongosa and Miller’s website is “to remind humanity that we are the angels of this Earth.”
A smaller set, for kids, nearby, is going to be finished by recent Peru High School graduate Chloey Darnell.
Mongosa said he has already had people stop by for photos and hopes that the mural will inspire more artwork and maybe even drive a little extra traffic to the city that sometimes still feels like home. He expects they will be done by the end of the week.
“I have been amazed at how quickly they’ve become popular,” he said. “I really hope it brings people downtown.”
Photos of people posing with the wings can be found on Facebook under the group “Peru Wings” or on Instagram under #peruwings.