CROTHERSVILLE — The east-facing wall of Crothersville Town Hall is a blank canvas.
That’s exciting to Kyle McIntosh, who owns Beauty from Ashes Tattoo Parlor in town and is a local artist.
In a video on his Facebook page posted Feb. 7, he announced his next mural project while standing outside the town hall, 111 E. Howard St.
“I don’t know about you guys. That looks like a pretty cool canvas,” he said.
For more than a year, town officials and McIntosh have been in discussion about a mural project. Clerk-Treasurer Danieta Foster said the white paint on the wall is peeling, so this is the perfect time to get the project going.
McIntosh already has the dimensions and photos of the wall, so now, he’s in the design process. That’s where current and former town residents come into play.
“I still have to design this whole mural, so I really want your guys’ input,” he said in the video. “We are doing a mural on the side of this whole building facing (U.S.) 31. I want you guys to say, ‘Hey, there’s a landmark’ or ‘There was a building or something in particular that relates to Crothersville,’ especially if you lived here before.”
He wants people to embrace the community, make a difference and make some positive change.
“With this mural, I believe it’s going to bring some positive change to our community, so let’s do that,” he said. “Let’s inspire businesses, let’s inspire homeowners to improve our properties, to make this a better place, a more inviting place for those who are driving by so they are not just driving through this town. They’ll actually want to stop and check it out.”
The Crothersville Town Council recently gave unanimous approval to use $1,000 from a $14,000 donation from Aisin Chemical Indiana LLC in Crothersville toward the paint for the project.
“He recommends that we do a special kind of clear coat on it that’s anti-graffiti so if somebody draws on it, it’s going to run off,” Foster told the council.
McIntosh’s video resulted in people sharing their thoughts on what to include in the mural, and the town shared the video on its Facebook page, resulting in more ideas.
Bryce Cottingham said when he thinks of the town he grew up in, the biggest thing that comes to mind is the school.
“It’s been the one constant, the one thing that the town can pretty well unanimously support,” he said. “I think of the gym being filled for basketball and town events, like the Red, White and Blue Festival all taking place around the school. As such, my suggestion would be that somewhere in the mural, there should be a tiger (the school’s mascot).”
Terry Richey agreed.
“The school is a huge part of our community,” she said, adding other suggestions as the railroad and interurban depot.
Rachel Fitch said when she thinks of living in the small town, she thinks of unity. She said when her daughter has needed something, the town has rallied behind the family.
“Also, the FFA is just fantastic with everything they do,” Fitch said.
Shearlene Whipple said there’s a lot of heart in Crothersville. Her suggestions include the old skating rink, MasterSbilt Race Cars, the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1083 and Crothersville FFA.
“Talk to some of our older citizens. They will gladly tell you things,” she said.
Sarah Freeman said the founder of Crothersville, the train depot and the date Crothersville became a town would be good to include.
“I am excited for this project,” she said.
Kyle Brock asked if there would be multiple design choices and how the final one would be chosen.
“This is what will be seen by every person traveling through our town at the stoplight or visiting local businesses,” he said. “It will be large and should represent our town and local businesses with grace and community. Although I believe there is a place for all design and artwork, a public/town-operated business needs to be incredibly tasteful to all members of the community. … We need to look at the town and all businesses as a whole with how we present ourselves.”
Foster replied to his comment.
“We want this to represent the whole town — the young, the old and the in between — something representing as many generations as possible,” she said. “The final design will be approved by myself and the council, and every step will be public with public input.”
McIntosh said once the weather breaks, he plans to start on the mural. As he has done with recent mural projects, he will record the process via Facebook Live on his personal page, facebook.com/kylemcintoshart.