Cave City commissions Lyon art program to create library mural

Outside businesses are now approaching the Lyon art program to create murals.

Professor of Art Dustyn Bork said Crystal Crow, Marketing Director for the Bank of Cave City, invited the art program to make a mural for the Cave City Library. The Bank of Cave City sponsors the library and provides the space for it, so they sponsored the mural project as well.

“Crystal is hoping this is the first of many murals in Cave City and in the broader region,” Bork said.

“She is exploring ways of creating a mural trail through the Ozark Gateway Region.”

Lyon art graduate Sarah Winters, ’18, created the design, which will be a shelf of books with the words “Cave City Library” and a bookend with the Bank of Cave City’s logo.

“The mural is going up in historic, downtown Cave City,” Winters said, “so we wanted to make sure we kept some of the nuances of older advertisements while incorporating some more modern design styles.”

She and Bork brainstormed several ideas. Winters would sketch them out and, after settling on a design, she fleshed it out into a more thorough piece that was used to map the mural onto the wall.

“I still don’t think I have fully grasped that something I designed is going up on a giant wall in the middle of Cave City!” Winters said.

She continued, “I have always loved seeing murals in different cities, so this is such an incredible opportunity.”

Bork has a big group of current and former Lyon students helping to bring Winters’ vision to life, including Sam Long, Molly Mellor, Abby Rutter, Victoria Hutcheson, ’19, Hayley Cormican and Bonnie Roberts.

“This is an awesome opportunity for our students and our alumni to branch out and share their creativity and talents with a much broader audience,” Bork said.

“Art doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and it’s great to bring our studio practice to a wider community audience.”

The project offers practical experience and opportunities for students on how to line up a mural, how to work with stakeholders and how to navigate the logistics involved in mounting a large public work. 

For example, this is the first mural the art program has attempted on raw unpainted brick, where the color of the brick will remain unpainted in the background and become part of the design itself. This new challenge changed their approach to the project.

Bork has enjoyed seeing current and former students for the project while the College continues remote instruction this fall.

“There is no substitute for being around other people and creative types.”

One benefit, he said, has been the way alumni and current students share art ideas and career options with each other.

“The returning students and alumni have been sharing with the newer students what to expect in a career in the arts and how to get your start,” Bork said.

He continued, “I am fortunate to be able to do what I love and be surrounded by so many like-minded artists.”

Senior Sam Long, who is from Cave City, has been excited to work on another mural project.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to see some of my classmates again,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to forget about what’s going on and just do something for my community.”

Long continued, “I never thought I would have the opportunity to help out on a mural in my own hometown. It’s kind of a dream come true to be honest.”