This huge American flag covers the entire Batts Inc. bilding in Advance. Children from the nearby We All Matter program came to paint on Wednesday Staff photo by Gus Pearcy
This huge American flag covers the entire Batts Inc. bilding in Advance. Children from the nearby We All Matter program came to paint on Wednesday Staff photo by Gus Pearcy
We All Matter, or WAM, children came out to add paint to Advance’s “welcome” mural on the Batts’ building on S. Main Street.

The mural depicts the United States flag, the year Advance was founded and an Indiana state seal.

The mural comes from a Lilly Endowment grant through the Community Foundation of Boone County which also includes an app to help non-profits in the county and a mural for Jamestown later this summer. It can be easily seen from the road.

Foundation Executive Director Jodi Gietl said the $150,000 grant was focused on community connectivity. The murals in Advance and Jamestown are to spur socio-economic growth in two towns that are not on the Big 4 Trail.

Gietl said the Connect Boone County app will connect volunteers with non-profits linking all Boone County residents together for volunteer efforts and donations.

The grant paid for professional muralists to get the murals up but then the community was invited to participate, like the children from the WAM program.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the town than to have the children come and paint that last stripe,” Gietl said.

“We worked with the building owner and the town to come up with what they wanted here to represent their town,” Gietl said of the mural’s design. “We did a lot of research to find things that are important to the town of Advance. Then we’re doing the same thing in Jamestown.”

Muralists Chris Blice and Jon Edwards spent an entire night outlining the mural and getting the early coat of paint on. There are a few coats left to go and with the excess rain, it is difficult to nail down a completion date, but it should be within the next few days.

The design was a combination of input from the town, the muralists and the building owner, the Batts family. Gietl said the participants learned much about the town.

“For example, Advance used to be called Osceola, back in the day,” Gietl said. “Then when the post office came through they said, ‘Hold on, there are two Osceolas in Indiana. So the folks, here in town in the 1800s, said, ‘We’d like to choose Advance to “advance” the railroad into this town.’”

The Batts family also wanted to represent the State of Indiana in the design. The company makes deicing equipment for airport runways.

These are the same artists who painted the Titus Bakery mural depicting goodies, which has been around for several years.

Jamestown officials and the community foundation are working on the mural currently scheduled to go at the corner of U.S. 136 and Ind. 75.

“We’re still working on everything in Jamestown and hope to start very soon,” Gietl said.
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