The Downtown Canton Special Improvement District (SID) has announced that the first in a series of  football-themed murals to be located throughout downtown Canton will be unveiled on Friday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 pm during the city’s monthly First Friday celebration. The unveiling is open to the public.

The mural, located at 427 Fifth Street NW (corner of Fifth and McKinley), features a five-story image of Canton football legend Jim Thorpe on the north side of the building. Local artist Joseph Close painted the image directly onto the building’s brick façade.

The SID-sponsored mural program, which expects to produce two to three murals per year, seeks to achieve three aims: first, pay tribute to Canton’s rich football history; second, create unique, quality public art in downtown Canton; and third, create greater connectivity between the Hall of Fame Village project and downtown.

Several local dignitaries and representatives plan to make comments at Friday’s 6:30 pm unveiling including Mayor Thomas M. Bernabei, City of Canton; Joe Horrigan, Pro Football Hall of Fame; Joseph Close, Artist and Painter; Mike King, Building Owner; and Mike Gill, SID.

For additional information on the unveiling or the mural project, contact Mike Gill, vice president for economic development for the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, at 330.458.2090 or

SID is a program of the Canton Development Partnership, which is a department of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.