Before billboards, radio, and TV were used to spread advertisements, people often used the sides of barns and other buildings to paint their messages. Many of the paintings are still visible, and you can see the old-fashioned ads as you travel the country. Some are weather-worn while others are freshly repainted.
Often this retouched artwork is the result of efforts made by the Walldogs, a group of highly skilled artists from around the world. Over 200 Walldogs meet annually in various communities to preserve the art form and rejuvenate–literally and figuratively–a community spirit. The Walldogs spend four days hand painting and restoring the murals.
On July 10-14, 2013, Kewanee welcomed over 210 Walldog artists into the community for their 20th anniversary meet. Hundreds of volunteers stepped forward to welcome, house, feed, and cheer on their guests. The vibe was electric during those four days and what the Walldogs left behind was nothing short of magical: 15 beautiful and vibrant murals depicting important events, people, and companies that made Kewanee such a wonderful place to call home.
The meet in Kewanee was a cause for celebration as it helped Kewanee win Rand McNally’s “Best Small Town in America” title in an online poll.
Encounter a welcoming spirit any time of the year and tour these beautiful hand-painted murals illustrating Kewanee’s heritage for a glimpse of the unique: