Crafting an artistic 'stamp' in downtown Hannibal

Ray Harvey painstakingly adds a detail to his latest mural on Wednesday, a travel stamp design featuring a trolley on the front of the Hannibal History Museum. He plans to complete the new artwork by Friday, and he is in the design stages for a large mural celebrating the immigrants who came to the Hannibal area.

HANNIBAL — A travel stamp from a bygone era is taking shape in downtown Hannibal, as Ray Harvey creates his latest mural on the front of the Hannibal History Museum.

Harvey previously discussed a travel stamp design in Monroe City Mo., and the resulting mural took a train-related theme. Deborah White, who commissioned the mural featuring Union Depot train station on the adjacent wall of the Hannibal History Museum, saw the design “and she loved the stamp idea, loved the colors”. Harvey’s art is visible throughout America’s Hometown, and the momentum started with a phone call from Brad Walden in 2018.

“He said he wanted to start an art revolution in Hannibal. I think we have, and it was his idea,” Harvey said, mentioning how White grew up in Hannibal and maintains close ties to family and the community, even though she now lives in Nashville, Tenn. “She pays for the artwork, she helps promote my work, she helps find new projects.”

The travel stamp is his ninth full-size exterior mural, and he has created two interior murals and three smaller exterior paintings, including Huck Finn on the side of Finn’s Food and Spirits next door.

Harvey is in discussion stages for three or four more projects in Hannibal this year. He worked through most of the day Tuesday on his latest artwork, and he felt the historic design was an ideal fit for the Hannibal History Museum, as well as historic Main Street and Hannibal as a whole.

Harvey plans to have the travel stamp mural completed by Friday, weather permitting. After the trolley stamp is finished, he will move forward with the design phases of a mural downtown which will celebrate immigrants who came to the Hannibal area, covering 65 feet in width and 30 feet in height.

Harvey hopes to have the large mural planned for downtown ready by July 4th.

“Painting’s easy. The weather and the timing and all that — that’s the hard part,” he said.

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