An interactive part of past and future history arrived at Farmington’s Lincoln Intermediate School Monday and Tuesday.
A part of a multi-panel mural depicting 18 of Missouri’s state symbols, the State Capitol and the St. Louis Gateway Arch was brought in for students to paint on as part of Missouri’s upcoming Bicentennial Celebration in 2021.
Janis Chatman is an art instructor at Washington-Franklin School and applied to have the panel brought to the school district.
“A friend of mine, an artist, told me about this opportunity last year, and I thought that it would be really neat for the kids in Farmington to do this,” she said. “Unfortunately, we have so many kids that it is difficult for them to spend enough time here to get all those students in Farmington to paint, so I talked to the artists and they said that they could handle between 400-600, it grew to 700-800 kids.
“We [decided on] the kids at Lincoln. Sarah Buerck, Lincoln Intermediate art instructor, was real interested in it. We thought that this would be a really good age group to work with. I have chosen a small group of artists from Washington-Franklin, they will come over and paint Tuesday morning. Kim Kennedy, the art teacher at the Middle School, is bringing a couple of classes over to paint. We are excited to have them here and be a part of it.”
Aaron Horrell and Barb Bailey are part of the group that is taking the panels around the state for interested Missourians to paint. Each of the 15 panels are sectioned into small triangles where a painter can fill in similar to the paint by numbers kits.
“We are traveling around the state to get as many people as possible to participate,” Bailey said. “We expect 15-20,000 people to paint on this painting by the time we are finished. There are 6 million people in Missouri, so 15-20,000 is a very small number and [this group gets] to be a part of a very small number that participate.”
Horrell explained that the panel that they have is 4-foot by 6-foot and when the project is finished and assembled, the mural will be 12 feet high by 30 feet long and displayed in the Truman Building in Jefferson City.
“Everybody who paints, we keep track of their name, age, occupation and where you are from,” he said. “When you go back, you can look at it, plus we want to know how many helps us. I wouldn’t realize after doing this for 10 months, we’ve had over 7,000 people paint so far. Nobody in the world has tried this before. This is a new idea that has never been tried.
“We’re painting on aluminum composite material. It’s lightweight, it’s thin, but it’s durable.”
Horrell and Bailey explained that those interested can see the progress on their Facebook page. They also need help financially with all of the travel and are looking for corporate sponsors.
According to Bailey, those who participate will be part of a world record event.
“This is a real painting that you are going to participate in,” she said. “It’s going to be on display for long time to come. Guinness has a category for the most people to paint a painting. It was 5,000 children in South America. We’ve already broken the record with people from all ages and all abilities.”
For more information, contact Barb Bailey at 573-837-9514 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.mo2021mural.org or Facebook Page Missouri Bicentennial Paint For A Cause.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at email@example.com