MUSCATINE, Iowa–Murals abound in downtown Muscatine. From the reinvigorated welcome mural across from the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to the lively scenes that adorn the National Pearl Button Museum @ History and Industry Center, to the grand Mississippi River scene at the Merrill Hotel and other, smaller pieces at El Olmito and The Wild Thing, local artist Chris Anderson’s work appears all across the city. Outside the city center, Anderson also created a pair of murals celebrating the Muscatine Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary at the Muskie Early Learning Center. As part of his Paint the Pearl campaign, Anderson hopes to bring many more murals to spaces across Muscatine. He continued his efforts this month with a new piece at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Drawn to his warm, inviting murals, Trinity Episcopal Church requested Anderson create one for them. When asked to paint the low wall that surrounds the church grounds, Anderson knew he wanted his mural to use vivid colors drawn from nature to create an inspiring mood for passersby. “With colors, you can guide the way a person feels, in turn, making them happy,” he explained.
Anderson also took the peace and beauty of the church and the joy of the passing children going to the Musser Public Library across the street into account as he worked to create a scene both inspiring and lively, just like the corner it occupies. “I love getting ideas from people,” emphasized Anderson. When finished, the mural will feature the Mississippi River and the fields and hills surrounding it, detailed with summery flowers and butterflies. The mural will also feature a dramatic depiction of the sun and clouds, mimicking the unique patterns of light and shadows often seen by the river.
Work began on the mural June 15 when Anderson primed the wall. He has continued to add to the mural over the past month, and hopes many will come to see it. He also encourages residents to keep their eyes open for more of his works, which he intends to start on soon: “I have many more murals planned and in the works. I am also currently working on the Mark Twain inspired sunset near the Merrill Hotel. Keep your eyes open and look froward to seeing more colors!” he beamed.
As Anderson continues to bring his latest mural to life, he, and all of Muscatine, look forward to seeing the final product. In time, Anderson’s latest painting will continue to fuel his goal to Paint the Pearl and bring more fresh public art to the city. Through it all, Anderson thanks those who have given him words of encouragement and financial support and always welcomes new patrons.