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Mural Anniversary Celebrates the Past and the Future

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Last Thursday was the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Mississippi River Tales Mural in Cape Girardeau. A ceremony was held in honor of the occasion with Mayor Harry Rediger, artist Tom Melvin, and project initiator Tim Blottner speaking in remembrance of the murals beginnings, and their hopes for further projects, “I want to challenge all of us to re-initiate and look at possibilities in the future,” Mayor Rediger said, “the mural is a great asset.”

Tim Blottner - who is credited for coming up with the mural idea and starting the project - concurred, noting a rise in the arts in Cape Girardeau since the murals arrival, including the Outdoor Sculpture contest, and more art-based businesses, “This beautiful mural has helped downtown and inspired others.”

The artist who headed the mural’s creation came all the way from Chicago to mark the milestone. Tom Melvin reflected on inspiration he took to paint the mural. He noted several portraits of Cape Girardeau residents hidden throughout the wall, and used items like cars and clothing from downtown antique stores for inspiration. Several local artists assisted Melvin in the mural’s creation. Melvin says that his real muse was the Mississippi itself, “The river is what inspired it all.”

New signage has been added to the riverwalk, acting as a tour of Cape Girardeau’s history behind the paintings. In honor of the 10th Anniversary the city’s official 2015 tree ornaments will feature a piece of the mural, and they are available for preorder.