New giant mural in Willard depicts town’s present and past

Hikers and bicyclists who trek the Frisco Highline Trail have a new sight to look at when they pass through Willard. The Willard Highline Historic and Cultural Mural, painted by artist Farley Lewis, of Springfield, can be viewed on a building that sits at the Frisco Highline Trailhead in Willard. The mural depicts scenes of historic Willard, as well as a present-day view of the town. At the top of the mural are written the words, “Family, Education, Service.”
The mural, which was funded by a $10,000 grant, was described in a press release by Brad Gray, Willard city administrator, as being 20-feet tall and 140-feet wide.
Gray also stated the mural would serve as a “focal point of Willard’s downtown area,” and said the mural would allow viewers to view the city’s past and imagine its future.
“The purpose of the mural will be to memorialize the community’s commitment to family, education and service; while enabling viewers to reflect on Willard’s past and envision its future as a unified region in northwest Greene County,” he wrote in the press release.

A person familiar with the mural’s painting, but who also asked to not be named, said it was originally going to be painted by art students at Willard High School, but that plan didn’t work out. “Because the best time to paint happened to fall on when school was out,” the person said, “after about a year of trying to get students to do it and realizing it just wasn’t going to be successful, the city decided to hire (Lewis). He’s done murals in the past.”
The person also said they were very pleased to see the mural on the trail-head.
“I’m actually very excited about this mural,” they said. “I feel like it is a good representation of Willard’s history, and of Willard’s future, with a little bit of a touch on where we are now, and the things we’re doing to grow as a city and as a community.”


Lawrence County Record

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Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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