Mural titled ‘Native Spirits’ recently completed on wall of Hannibal building

Hannibal mural

“Native Spirits,” a mural by local artist and educator Stephen Schisler, is on the north facing wall on the back of 113 S. Main, which offers a Broadway-facing view in the 200 block of Broadway. | Photo courtesy of Hannibal Arts Council

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Local artist and educator Stephen Schisler recently completed a mural, titled “Native Spirits,” on the north-facing wall at the back of 113 S. Main, which offers a Broadway-facing view in the 200 block of Broadway. The project was a partnership between the Hannibal Arts Council and the Rotary Club of Hannibal.      

“I wanted to pay homage to populations now extinct from our region,” Schisler said. “It marks the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the subsequent disappearance of many native Missouri species by the mid to late 1800s.  Featured are the elk, buffalo, black bear, mountain lion and grey wolf.  Their vague polygonal forms represent these figures as ‘spirits’ that may still walk among us.  The gridding off of the background into county lines represents the arbitrary borders and systems that eventually replaced, for better or worse, the wildness of the frontier.”

Building owners Mike and Sarah Vorholt initially contacted the Hannibal Arts Council regarding interest in offering their blank wall for placement of a mural. The Hannibal Arts Council worked with the building owners to procure the artist and proposed design to be approved, then approached the Rotary Club of Hannibal to support the public art initiative.

More public art initiatives are planned in 2022, including a public sculpture program, to add to the existing Art in the Open billboard and Out of the Box traffic box art projects implemented by the Hannibal Arts Council.

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