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Lyon alum spreads murals across Missouri

After revitalizing the historic Coca-Cola mural in downtown Batesville as an undergraduate at Lyon College, Victoria Hutcheson, ‘19, barely had time to let the paint dry before she began her next mural.

Hutcheson was commissioned by the New Madrid Historical Museum in New Madrid, Mo., to create a 40-foot by 11-foot mural (below) for viewing from the Mississippi River levee. Starting on June 16, she began by sanding sections of the old mural where the paint was chipping.

“I painted the whole thing white and just started from scratch,” Hutcheson said. “I designed the mural to scale myself in Photoshop. That way, I could project it onto the wall and trace it to make sure my measurements were correct.”

Hutcheson has been filling the details in ever since. Rain has been a major obstacle, but she anticipates being finished by July 4.

This opportunity would never have happened for her, she said, if not for Associate Professor of Art Dustyn Bork’s murals class and her experience repainting the 30-foot by 90-foot Coca-Cola mural with fellow Lyon students. 

“One of the museum board members saw the Coca-Cola mural we did with Dustyn,” Hutcheson said. “They realized I had experience with murals, and they knew I was from East Prairie, Mo., about 20 minutes away from New Madrid.”

The board member contacted her mom to see if Hutcheson would be willing to work on the mural.

“There was a mural on the wall which was very faded,” she said, “and they’d been looking for someone to redo it and put their own spin on it. I was experienced and local, so they reached out to me.”

Her work on the Coca-Cola mural and in her murals class prepared her for the project, teaching her the necessary techniques.

“It taught me how to judge how much paint I would need per square foot,” Hutcheson said, “and that I didn’t have to buy every single color. I learned that I can use a little bit of every color to make what I need rather than spending money to buy every individual color.”

Her hometown of East Prairie has also reached out to her about designing a mural.

“I’m in the process of getting another mural designed if I have time to carry it out,” Hutcheson said.

She will be moving to Tallahassee, Fla., in August to study art therapy at Florida State University.

“I’m supposed to meet with [East Prairie] after July 4 to get their ideas for the design,” she said. “Hopefully, that one will be my next project before I leave. I’ve had another person reach out to me to do another mural here in New Madrid, but unfortunately I’m just not going to be here to do it.”

Hutcheson said she has enjoyed the positive feedback from her work on the New Madrid Historical Museum mural.

“It’s been really cool. People are realizing I’ve come back from school and mastered this talent that’s not seen much around here,” she said. “That’s been a fun experience. People come up to me and say ‘This is really cool. We want one in our community, too.’ ”

“I love people wanting to get involved in art and see art in their community.”

Hutcheson hopes to complete the East Prairie mural this summer before leaving for graduate school.

“I would love to have that mark on my hometown,” she said. “I grew up there my whole life. I would love to be able to give something back.”

To see Hutcheson’s work and track her progress on the murals, follow her at https://www.facebook.com/victoria.hutcheson1 or @victoriahutchesonart on Instagram.