The Washington City Council made a statement that art in the downtown district has value.

The council approved two measures Monday night that will allow for art pieces to be installed downtown.

The first was a request by the Arts Council of Washington (ACOW) for an outdoor mural to be painted on the Elm Street retaining wall.

This mural does more than add a splash of color to the streetscape, but also provides a valuable history lesson to both Washington residents and visitors of the community.

The portion of the mural along Elm Street will feature art depicting Washington from the 1800s to the 1900s. The south side of the mural, facing the rear of Marquart’s Landing, will feature art portraying the city from 1900 to present.

Preliminary plans call for an interactive component that will be at a kiosk in the Washington Farmers’ Market.

It is an excellent idea to merge the worlds of art and history.

The council also approved the placement of two 4-foot by 4-foot Larry Pogue statues at the Farmers’ Market.

We hope these council decisions begin a trend of new artwork throughout the community.

Public art creates an attachment to a community. Anyone who has visited Cape Girardeau knows that the mural painted along the flood wall can capture history in a colorful, yet cultural way, that leaves a lasting memory with visitors of the community.

Public art shows the vibrance of a community and tells visitors that Washingtonians take pride in their community.