T.I.S. collaborated with Nashville, Ind. residents Kara Barnard and Jody Bonifield to create a colorful mural that honors the legends and traditions of IU.
The project began July 3 and should be finished at the end of July, and has caused inquiries from customers and passerby.
“It’s funny to watch traffic driving down Third Street,” said Paul Williams, supply manager and buyer at T.I.S. “They’ll be driving by and do a double-take.”
This isn’t the first mural painted on the side of the bookstore. The previous one, completed in 1995, lasted for about 15 years.
Weather and a water leak caused the mural to deteriorate. A painter was hired to scrape off the remains and paint the wall a light gray to match the rest of the building, and since then the water leak has been fixed.
Williams was a big fan of the first mural. In February, he helped plan the mural project, suggesting Barnard, his banjo instructor, as a possible painter.
Barnard, owner of Weed Patch Music in Nashville, Ind., teaches music lessons to more than 50 students.
Williams approached her about the project, and Barnard agreed to do it with Bonifield, owner of Muddy Boots Café and the Pine Room Tavern in Nashville, Ind.
The bookstore owners and artists agreed on the theme of IU legends. The mural, on the wall facing the parking lot, will be split into four separate sections. The sections will each focus on IU icons.
The first section, from left to right, represents components of music and art. The second section focuses on sports, featuring the basketball banners, fans and notable IU athletic coaches.
Education is represented in the third section, showing textbooks, school supplies and the face of Alfred Kinsey, founder of the Kinsey Institute. The last section shows the iconic Sample Gates at the entrance of IU.
Herman B Wells is featured walking away from the gates as a biker passes behind him in the background.
“We think we put together a real nice depiction of IU,” Williams said. “We put some people on there that deserve the recognition.”
To create the mural, the artists made sketches, projected them onto construction-grade paper and cut out giant stencils. The artists then placed the stencils on the wall and used them to paint the four sections.
Used to condensing a large area into a small-scale map, Barnard is now working on blowing up objects to fit them on the large wall.
On most days, Barnard and Bonifield begin painting at 3 p.m. and work until 9 p.m.
“A lot of kids stop by and chat with us while we work,” Barnard said. “And many have never heard of these people.”
Barnard hopes the mural will serve as a memorial to the figures depicted and “introduce students to the very important people that made IU what it is today.”
Kevin Theile, member of the T.I.S. management team, said the project will be complete when students return to campus for fall semester.
“On a simple level, we wanted to create some art for everyone to enjoy,” Theile said. “On a deeper level, we wanted to capture the essence of IU and Bloomington.”
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