‘All Roads Lead Home’
Muralist Raine Clotfelter working on new project in Aurora
America’s Muralist Raine Clotfelter is working on a new project that will honor Aurora’s rich history, from it’s humble beginnings as a mining town, through the town role as a railroad hub and its military heritage.
The “All Roads Lead Home” mural is being painted on the north wall of Aurora’s Children’s Smile Center, a non-profit dental facility with offices in Aurora, Branson and Ozark directed by Jackie Barger and is located at the corner of Church Street and Madison Avenue, just south of the square.
The mural project is designed to help commemorate, celebrate and preserve Aurora’s colorful history and heritage, project director Kim McCully-Mobley, co-director of the Youth Empowerment Project and the Houn’ Dawg Alumni and Outreach Center said.
The design features images to call attention to the railroad, the mines, the shoe factory, the mill, agriculture, the Houn’ Dawg mascot and the military service.
“All of those things played integral roles in Aurora’s 151-year history.” McCully-Mobley said. “The intergenerational project is designed to create dialogue about our community, where, at the end of the day … All Roads Lead Home.”
Aurora turned 150 last year and, while several events had to be postponed or canceled because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the mural project has continued, though, with a few hiccups.
The mural project received a grant through the Placeworks Program that required matching donations to help cover costs and hire a muralist. However, due to the pandemic, that grant funding was frozen.
With the project underway, McCully-Mobley changed gears and began a full-fledged fundraising effort.
Sponsors of the project include: The Youth Empowerment Project at Aurora High School, the AHS Leadership and A-Tech classes and the Houn’ Dawg Alumni and Outreach Center. Assistance is also being provided by Lori Barton and her AHS art students, too.
Funding was received through a series of grants and fundraising projects involving individuals, the Leadership Class at Aurora High School, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Aurora Community Foundation, the Placeworks Program and the Rural Schools Collaborative.
McCully-Mobley also reached out to Clotfelter, who has a regional reputation, having completed both downtown Monett murals, a mural in Mt. Vernon and one in Cassville.
Clotfelter has managed to get paint for the mural donated, and McCully-Mobley said she has more than $5,000 towards her goal of $7,000 to $10,000.
Work on the mural began Monday, March 29, and is scheduled to be completed sometime next week.
Donations have included food and lodging for Clotfelter and his wife, Tricia, and food for volunteers who have assisted them with the project.
McCully-Mobley said all donations will go back into the community, even if contributions exceed the fundraising goals.
She said that many, many ideas came up when a subject matter for the mural was discussed, and has led to plans for more murals around town.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the mural project may contact McCully-Mobley at email@example.com or mail it to 305 W. Prospect/Aurora, MO 65605.