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amidsummersmural / Murdock Mural

The Murdock Museum Mural

Designer and Lead Painter Rebecca Van Ornam

Assisted a great deal by Pam Conyers-Hinson

Assisted for a day or two by Richard Harrison

Press coverage example here

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excerpt from The Freemont Tribune:

...Lucas Stock found Rebecca and quickly realized she was the perfect artist to bring the history of Murdock to the wall along with the vision for the future. Rebecca introduced the project to the Elmwood-Murdock High School art classes before the end of the school year and recruited help from the kids in gathering ideas for the mural.

Elmwood Murdock FBLA raised funds to get the project started, and a Cass County Tourism Capital Improvement Grant completed the fund-raising goal. Murdock Museum officials saw the value in the project and agreed to having the mural take up the entire south exterior wall.

Rebecca’s design captures Murdock’s past, present and future. Her strategy was to involve as many community members as she could to come up with ideas for the mural. She needed them to tell her about the history of Murdock. She held many planning meetings at the museum, asked many questions and listened to many stories. Rebecca learned about a 16mm film made in the 1940’s about Murdock. Watching it brought historical Murdock to life for her.

After the planning meetings Rebecca went to work designing the mural. She suggested a community potluck barbecue for the unveiling of her design.

 Although this project is not the first time she is the lead artist, it is the first for her to serve on an all-woman artistic team. Her assistant, Pam Conyers-Hinson, is also an accomplished artist in Omaha. Pam teaches bronze-casting classes at Joslyn Art Museum.In addition to the design unveiling, people attending the barbecue watched the film, which had been converted to video. Rebecca’s parents, Richard and Susan, younger brother Connor, husband Joseph and nine month old daughter, Fern, helped her host the event at the Murdock Museum.

After the meal Rebecca explained how she came to the design she created. Clearly Murdock was rich with history and generations of families that made Murdock their home. Rebecca decided that the best way to illustrate the heart of Murdock was with a quilt block. Little did she know about the FBLA Barn Quilt Project. Once she found out that the Elmwood-Murdock area was already populated with giant quilt blocks, she knew she had chosen the right theme...