Sedalia Downtown Development Inc. is just a few thousand dollars short of restoring the Scott Joplin mural at Second Street and Ohio Avenue after receiving a grant from the Sedalia Area Tourism Commission.
“It’s been close to 20 years since the mural was completed and it’s starting to show its age,” said SDDi Administrator Meg Liston. “We’ve done a little patch work and had the border repainted about four years ago but it’s badly faded and needs to be restored.”
SDDi made contact with the mural’s original artist, Stanley Herd, who “expressed interest in coming back to Sedalia.”
“It would probably be cheaper to get someone else to come in and restore the mural but I think that takes away from the original artist’s work,” Liston said. “The fact that we can get Stanley Herd, who is a well-known and respected muralist, is a great benefit for us.”
The total cost of the project is approximately $10,000, Liston said, which includes Herd’s artist fee, transportation and lodging costs. With the $6,500 grant from the SATC, SDDi only needs to raise an additional $4,000.
“Once we raise the money we’ll be able to sign a contract with (Herd),” Liston said. “Our goal is to get him here when the weather warms up, sometime in the spring.
“It would be great to have him either during, or the mural finished by, the Scott Joplin Festival in June, but I’m not sure if we can get everything worked out by then.”
Herd would work on the mural in stages, Liston said, and may require multiple trips to town.
In the meantime she’s been reaching out to local community members to drum up support for the project.
“There are a lot of ragtime fans in the area and people who I know would love to see the mural restored to its original glory,” she said. “We have a real opportunity to do that, we just need to find the funds.”