Mark Twain, Huck, Tom and Ray. Wait, what? This week was the creation of a historical mural. Hannibal, MO was given a new sixty foot wide American flag to celebrate July 4th for years to come. I was contacted only a month ago from a businessman who was renovating a century old building on Market Street. It was once a bank before the depression, then a post office and then local businesses. After 9/11 a small flag was painted on the west side which became very popular with the community. It has remained for eighteen years.
But now the wall was in need of serious repair including grinding and tuck pointing. Unfortunately the flag had to go. Brad Walden contacted me to create something special on his renovated building. Since the flag had been so well loved I just suggest3d doing it again, only bigger and more boldly. I suggested an edge to edge painting of a waving American flag. I had wanted to create a project like this for years and had actually painted the comp flag design years ago. This gave me the chance to finally use it. I photoshopped the design over a photo of the wall. I sent it to Brad and it took all of three minutes to receive the response, “ cool, let’s do it.”
I arrived in Hannibal last Thursday in the hopes of completing the mural by July 4th. The rain held off for the most part but the heat was intense. Beginning work at 6am and continuing till noon and then again in the evening I persevered.
With the help of Brad, Doug’s hydraulic lift and Nathan Wilts support and help the mural was completed at 10am July 3rd. The entire painting took around 45 hours to complete. In that time many well-wishers, honks, waves and visits accompanied my journey. Many interviews with print and TV media were sprinkled through those 45 hours. Yesterday the lift was moved and the mural was signed.
It’s one of my proudest paintings! Many photos will be taken of this art with Hannibal residents and tourists. It will now always be known as the “Flag Building.” Happy Birthday America!