HANNIBAL — Sunday was just the kind of day mural artist Ray Harvey loves.
It was mild and cloudy, without rain. It also was the day that the Kickstart website reported the funding campaign for a mural on Hannibal City Hall exceeded its $15,000 goal.
"We had 180 donors and raised $15,497," by the deadline of noon Sunday, Harvey said.
Once Kickstart debits the cards that donors used to pledge toward the project, Harvey will get the funds. He expects to get started on the mural, on the east side of City Hall, about the end of September or the beginning of October.
Money raised through the online campaign will help pay for special paint that Harvey said will cost about $200 a gallon. It also will pay for rental of a lift that will be used to elevate the artist as he paints the 40-by-70-foot wall.
Although Harvey has done more than 500 murals, he said there’s no way to forecast the exact amount of time it will take to complete the painting.
"I can’t paint in the rain. A mild, cloudy day is perfect day for me, but I’ll take sunny days too," Harvey said.
Painting should take about three weeks in good weather. If there are rains, the mural could take a month.
Mayor Jim Hark said when the mural campaign began that no Hannibal tax dollars will be used. He said the fund-raising effort would allow people who want to see the mural painted to lend support.
Based on the 180 donors, the average gift was $86.09.
Harvey said the mural will depict Hannibal native Molly Brown on one side. The image of Twain’s face will be superimposed in the central part of the frame, with a young boy wearing a straw hat nearby. Mark Twain’s character, Jim, a run-away slave from the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, will be at the right side of the mural, using a pole to propel a river raft.
At age 61, Harvey lives in New Haven, Mo.
He said it won’t take long for the mural to bring attention to Hannibal. A public broadcasting station wants to do interviews with him about the project. Missouri Life Magazine also has hinted at coverage. News stories, such as those, help boost Hannibal’s tourism.
Harvey also will be doing some posters, post cards and stickers to thank donors for their support of the funding campaign.
"I hope to have a meet the artist night soon," Harvey said.
Work on few windows and minor cosmetic repairs will be needed on the east wall before Harvey painting.