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Ladies in Rippey Hurry to Finish Mural on Building, Summer, 1980

RIPPEY---The residents of Rippey may finally see their city’s mural completed if seven diligent, paint-splotched women have their way. They hope to be finished in time for Rippey Fun Days in August.

Rippey MuralRippey Residents Work to Finish Their Mural

By Barb Baugh    June?, 1980  Perry Daily Chief 

RIPPEY---The residents of Rippey may finally see their city’s mural completed if seven diligent, paint-splotched women have their way.

               The mural, fashioned from a picture calendar distributed by First National Bank in Rippey a couple years ago and using approximately 15 gallons of outdoor latex paint, started as a project of the East Greene Junior High School art students a year ago, according to Marlene Radebaugh, cashier at the Rippey Savings Bank.

               He said the project, located on the east outer wall of Mr. and Mrs. Jake Peters’ Rippey Café, wasn’t completed.

               Mary McKercher, Radebaugh said, contacted the Rippey Lions Club and got its support to complete the mural.

               Mrs. McKercher of rural Rippey, wo studied art and does some oil painting, is the “spirit behind the project,” according to Cynthia Larson of Des Moines, a free-lance artist with the Iowa Arts Council.

               She said she met Mrs. McKercher at Perry Community High School while she (Ms. Larson) was painting murals and displaying work during a community night at the school.

               Ms. Larson said she had driven through Rippey earlier and noticed the incomplete mural.  Through a conversation with Mrs. McKercher, Ms. Larson said, she offered to help the people of Rippey complete the mural if Mrs. McKercher could get some people together to help.

               Ms. Larson, who said she has worked on murals in several communities throughout the past three years, said they hope to complete the mural by Aug. 9 in time for the Rippey Fun Days.

               She said she free handed the picture onto the building wall, at least theat part of the drawing which wasn’t already complete.

               Mrs. Larson, who will be a graduate student in print-making and photography at Pratt Institute in New York City this fall, said, “the project is hot, but it’s fun, too, and it’s nice to members of a community work together on a project.

               Only one mural she has painted, she said, has ever been vandalized.  “The communities just seem to be proud of their murals.”

               The murals, she said, seem to give each small town a unique quality.

               Those interested in helping with the mural may contact Radebaugh at the Rippey Savings Bank, according to Mrs. McKercher.

               Work began on the mural Tuesday morning and will continue until its completion, she said.

               Those women kicking off the project include Mrs. McKercher and Ms. Larson; Imalee Erickson of Grand Junction; Linda Contner of Rippey; Mary Brubaker and Margaret Dorris, both of rural Rippey; and Colleen Hanlon of rural Perry.

               Ms. Larson said other small communities wishing to make a mural might check into grants available or try to get an organization to sponsor the mural.  Those interested, she said, may contact Nan Stillions or Marilyn Parks at the Iowa Arts Council in Des Moines.