CARTHAGE, Mo. — Want to know where you can see a former astronaut, a former NFL defensive back, and the first elected female office-holder in the state of Missouri all in one place? All on one building? It’s Carthage. And it’s all part to one pretty amazing mural project.
Carthage Artist Andy Thomas loves to paint, but he prefers it to be on canvas, and not the side of a building.
Andy Thomas, Project Artist, said, “I’m just glad experts stepped in and I didn’t have to go up there.”
That’s why he’s so glad his latest work, which depicts life in Carthage, and its most famous residents, is being glued to the side of this building on the square. And he had the honor of putting up the first of 459 tiles.
Paul Whitehill, Whitehill Enterprises, said, “The process we use is UV stable, it will never fade in direct sunlight and should be here for generations to enjoy.”
The mural includes Astronaut Janet Kavandi, home grown pro athletes like Felix Wright and Carl Hubbell, television host and zoologist Marlin Perkins and landmarks like the Route 66 Drive Inn. It also contains contemporaries that helped put the town on the artistic map.
“Two of the men, my heroes, died while I was working on the artwork, and so we went to their funerals, one of them was of course, Lowell Davis, who is my art mentor, and Bob Tommey who probably actually taught me more about painting than anybody, but then, just a few years ago I lost my dear friend Bill Snow,” said Thomas.
Abi Almandinger, Executive Director, Vision Carthage, said, “It kind of bridges the corridor between you know the downtown, the historic downtown and the beautiful homes we have on Grand Avenue, it’s on the Maple Leaf Route, course we want people to come down and shop at the businesses and the boutiques that we have and the restaurants and just enjoy downtown Carthage.”
The individual tiles weigh in at 14 pounds a piece, for a mural which will tip the scales at well over 6 thousand pounds total. The mural, entitled Big Dreams Grow In Carthage, should take a couple of weeks to install, weather permitting.