Tourists snap shots of the murals. Cuba’s 4th graders study the story behind each of the murals. Bus groups and trolley tours learn of Cuba’s history. But little thought or time is spent on three aspects of Viva Cuba’s mural project: the shield painted on each mural, the artist(s) signature, and the plaques that accompany them. This post will briefly address these three elements of Viva Cuba’s mural project.
1. The shields painted on the murals recognize the location of the murals along the Route 66 corridor. Cuba, MO is intersected by Route 66, and we are proud of that aspect of our history. The shields also have a number from 1-12 that tells what the mural’s order was in the painting of the twelve murals. The A.J. Barnett mural above was #1 in the 12 mural series. It was commissioned by Peoples Bank to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the bank and helped kickstart the project.
2. The artist’s signatures are also on the murals. Michelle Loughery was the premier artist on this first mural, and she owns the copyright although Viva Cuba is allowed to use the image for marketing and promotion, which accomplishes two things. First, the mural project helps make our town (and the artist) known and brings visitors, which helps the economy. Secondly,through selling our art cards, t-shirts, etc., we are able to help fund the maintenance of the murals.
While photography of the murals for personal pleasure is encouraged, commercial use of the images by others for products or other ventures is not permitted.* Loughery was also assisted on this first mural by Shelly Steiger, a local artist and teacher, who learned outdoor mural painting from Michelle Loughery. More information on the artists is available on the Viva Cuba website.
3. Nearby each mural is a plaque, either on a stand or attached to the building. The plaque summarizes information about the mural and speaks of major donors. The plaques for the murals were paid for by Peoples Bank. Occasionally, they need maintenance as do the murals.
Recently, Viva Cuba sent one of their mural plaques back to a company in Minnesota to be refurbished. Fortunately, the company offers a lifetime guarantee on their bronze plaques. After looking at the plaque stand, it was evident that peeling paint would not work with the shiny “new” plaque. Viva Cuba would like to give a big shout out to Ashlar Machinery and Jim Montgomery’s Body & Paint for donating their time and labor to sandblast and paint the stand. The plaques are placed at each mural to provide information to our visitors about each mural as they do a self-guided walking tour.
Each cog of the mural project has its importance, and we would like to thank the community that has supported and continues to support the “Route 66 Mural City.”
*Copyright law is a complex issue. Contact an attorney with specific questions.