Muralist brings history to life through art for Patriots Week in Trenton

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Muralist Illia Barger is welcoming the public to watch her as she spends Patriots Week in Trenton creating a giant 25 x 15 foot painting. (WPVI)

You don't usually get to watch artists as they work. But muralist Illia Barger is welcoming the public to watch her as she spends Patriots Week in Trenton creating a giant 25 by 15 foot painting.

The painting features scenes from the Battle of Trenton, a turning point in the American Revolution.

"Murals are perfect for me because I like to interact with the public," said Barger. "They usually watch me paint on the wall, but in this particular case I'm painting on this mural fabric that is then gonna go and be put up permanently on an exterior wall."

After months of research, Barger began her mural working three days at a pop-up studio on State Street and is finishing up at the state museum. She's been careful about details, making sure what she paints accurately reflects Colonial history.

"It's been a big journey and it's been terrific actually, I've learned a lot of history," said Barger.

"Very interesting to see it and the pieces that it comes in and how she's working on it in public, answering questions for people," said Brad Pasko of Ewing. "Really see it develop and know it's going to be there forever as a mural."

The mural will eventually go on a wall neat the cemetery at the First Presbyterian Church on East State Street.

Barger's effort is part of the annual Patriots Week in the city, sponsored by the Trenton Downtown Association.

The event includes the re-enactment of Washington crossing the Delaware River on Christmas and dozens of other daily activities recalling the city's pivotal role in American history.

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