A Cheerful Mural

Mural by Heather Maxwell

I was honored to be invited to create this mural at the Badger Priarie Needs Network food pantry in Verona. The mural is located in the building’s front entry space and is based on one of the drawings in my book, Free Flow: fresh air for tough times.

This newly completed project has been a joy for many reasons. First and foremost, I am excited to be able to offer hope, positivity and playfulness through my art. It was also fun to adapt the drawing from my book to fit into the existing space and to speak to the wide range of BPNN patrons. I was super excited add the Spanish text and to blend together the magazine rack with my mural.

It was also fun choosing colors. I was able to incorporate the accent colors in the building so the mural has a completely cohesive feel with the rest of the building. Choosing hair and skin colors was also fun. One day I had taken out a board with some possible sample skin tones out to BPNN to collect feedback.  I particularly enjoyed a conversation with a young Hispanic girl who was about six. She enthusiastically walked up to my test board and held her hand up to each of the test swatches to decide which one most closely matched her skin. It was heartwarming to experience her positive reaction to feeling included and represented. I also enjoyed working on the mural while patrons were coming and going. I enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces as they soaked in the bright colors, whimsical characters and the positive message. And I enjoyed the enthusiasm in the kids that my art inspired. Several kids asked for drawing supplies so they could draw while their parents shopped in the pantry.

You are welcome to see my mural in person by visiting the Badger Prairie Needs Network at 1200 East Verona Avenue in Verona (where the old Dane County Home used to be for those of you have been around long enough for that to mean something). You might catch volunteers working hard in the building most anytime, but the for sure times that the building is open is when the food pantry is open and during the weekly community meals.

Shopping hours at the food pantry are Monday 10-12 & 3-6:30; Tuesday 10-12; Thursday 10-12 & 3-6:30; Friday 10-12; and Saturday 10-1:30. The community meals are on Saturdays 11:30-1:00. They are free and open to anybody. Food is donated and prepared by Epic chefs. So, why not go out the the BPNN, check out my mural, enjoy a good meal and maybe meet some of the grateful patrons, as well as learn more about the awesome work BPNN is doing to support people in need. You can also learn more about the Badger Prairie Needs Network here.

Cards based on the mural and copies of my book are available through my Etsy shop. A portion of the sale of each card is donated to support BPNN.  Now through the end of April, enjoy free shipping on all orders through our Etsy shop with our Spring Fling sale. Simply use the code SPRINGFLING during check out.