Arts & Culture

History in the Paint Public Art Tour


Before billboards, radio, and TV spread advertising in a big way, there were barns and other buildings just begging to be painted with one message or another. Vibrant colors soak the paint brushes; Walldogs art takes a new form. Every brush stroke now tells the story of a community’s history.

Walldogs annual meet keeps the art form alive and rejuvenates–literally and figuratively–a community spirit. Four days of hand painting by over 200 artists from around the world is a cause for celebration. It even helped Kewanee win Rand McNally’s “Best Small Town in America” title in an online poll. Encounter a welcoming spirit any time of the year and tour 16 hand-painted murals illustrating Kewanee’s heritage and a glimpse of the unique: What is Murals’ Hidden Treasures? Many of the murals have hidden “tags” the artists incorporate that are known only to them and not immediately visible to the naked eye. Sometimes it’s the artist’s name hidden somewhere in the painting or you could learn an interesting fact, simply by studying the painting. That’s why retired Kewanee High School teacher Roger Malcolm created a quiz that helps make the tour even more interesting to those visiting. By giving you clues to look for items hidden in the painting, the Murals’ Hidden Treasures is for you to explore and enjoy.

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