Mural Project

Mural Ribbon Cutting Ceremony May 2017

The Mount Vernon Area Arts Council is proud to present the finished Mural in downtown Mount Vernon, IA.

Mount Vernon High School graduate Strider Patton, now an educator and muralist in San Francisco, facilitated the project. Strider met with Mount Vernon art teachers as well as students and the community to develop designs for the mural.  Painting was completed in May 2017.

Denise Murphy, MVAAC VP, stated that “many from the community supported the designs, painting and celebration of this fantastic event”.  She also stated that “hundreds of community children and families took part in hands on painting.”

Community murals have been shown to underscore economic development as well as enhance community spirit and cohesiveness.

The mural is located south of the Main Street shops in the public parking area.

Strider Patton, mural artist

Dale Beek’s performed during the mural ribbon cutting ceremonies.

Ribbon cutting for downtown mural.

Strider Patton and his mom during ribbon cutting ceremony


Mural Update April 2017

Artist Strider Patton, MVAAC’s community mural project facilitator, just completed the third and last week with Mount Vernon elementary, middle and high school students and art teachers. He will take their ideas – as well as those collected from area residents at a January workshop — and create the final design in his San Francisco studio.

He returns at the end of April to prepare for painting the 2500 sq. ft. concrete wall May 1-12. Patton will direct students and residents as they help paint the mural. Days and times for painting will be publicized as soon as possible. The mural project coincides with the city’s Chalk the Walk event May 6-7 providing residents and visitors an incredible opportunity. The mural unveiling event is scheduled 10 am – Noon, Saturday, May 13, 2017.

“The kids have contributed to the final design in so many ways; it’s been a remarkable experience,” said Patton, who has worked on numerous student mural projects. “I want students to look at the final design and see that their ideas were incorporated.”

Photos: Mural project artist and facilitator Strider Patton with students and school personnel and in front of the concrete wall south of Mount Vernon Main Street where the mural will be painted May 1-12. The unveiling is scheduled 10 am-Noon, Saturday, May 13, 2017.


• Week of April 10: City of Mount Vernon power washes the wall.

• Monday/Tuesday, April 17/18: Both upper and lower parking lots closed while wall is

professionally primed using a sprayer. To accommodate uptown residents, City is permitting

overnight Main Street parking if necessary.

• Monday, April 17: Mural design presented at Mount Vernon City Council meeting.

• Saturday & Sunday, April 29-30: Muralist Strider Patton outlines design on wall; no special

parking accommodations.

• Monday, May 1 – Thursday, May 4: Mount Vernon students bused to wall to paint mural; lower

parking lot closed. Residents may join in painting 8 am – 6 pm.

• Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, May 5,6 & 7: Due to Mount Vernon’s annual Chalk the Walk event,

lower parking lot open for parking. No mural painting by public.

• Monday, May 8 – Friday, May 12: Lower parking lot closed. Public invited to participate in

painting 8 am – 6 pm.

• Saturday, May 13: Mural unveiling celebrated 10 am – Noon. All welcome.

MVAAC receives grants for community mural

The Mount Vernon Area Arts Council (MVAAC) has received grants from the Iowa Arts Council, The McIntyre Foundation and the Maurice Foundation to create and install a community mural in Mount Vernon. The mural will be painted on the lower level wall of the city parking lot behind the businesses that line the 100 block west of First Street. The wall has approximately 2500 square feet of surface.

The mural’s theme and images will be determined by community members and students in the Mount Vernon schools. The project will be directed by Mount Vernon native Strider Patton, who now lives in San Francisco, in collaboration with Mount Vernon art teachers Mark Benesh, Sarah Fitzgerald, and Ely Sotillo. Benesh and Sotillo are experienced muralists.

The process of developing the mural will include town hall meetings in which the public at large can talk about what they’d like to see included in the mural. Topics might include history, education, local architecture, the environment, local business, agriculture, etc. Students will be asked to research potential topics for inclusion and to participate in designing the mural.

The project will begin to engage the community this fall, with mural planning and design to take place during the winter. Painting will be in spring; target completion date is June 1, 2017. To date, the MVAAC has raised $13,000 for the project.