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Riverside Regional Library dedicates 90-foot mural

A small crowd gathered in front of Riverside Regional Library in Jackson Aug. 10 to dedicate the mural which adorns its 90-foot front wall, painted by Jackson’s own Terry Davis.

“This is all Terry’s deal here,” said Steve Burk, a member of the Regional Library’s board of directors. “We’re really pleased how this has turned out.”

“I’ve worked on murals but never anything quite this big,” said Davis, a graduate of JHS and Southeast Missouri State University. “It’s a huge slate. It’s so long. I had to try to figure out what would be best for this space.”

To the left side of the mural is a representation of Uptown Jackson. Next we see a girl reading a book.

“It’s a crazy story,” said Davis. Her imagination takes her from something she knows and is familiar with — Hubble Creek — and morphs it into an imaginary ocean where she catches a bookcase like a giant fish, and that bookcase doubles as a living organism.

Davis said he received “constant feedback” from the community as he painted the mural this summer. When he started putting red paint on the white brick wall, someone thought it was grafitti.

“The icing on the cake was the caution tape that made it look like a crime scene,” he recalled as laughter rolled through the audience.

“I’m proud to have been the artist to bring this to you,” he concluded.

Davis told The Cash-Book Journal that he used exterior acrylic paint from Color World. He chose that type of paint because it should “stand up to weathering.” His project was on a budget so he used five basic colors: red, brown, green, yellow and blue. From those he mixed up 40 different colors that appear in the mural.

He started with red, because “reds are a color that stand out from a white surface.” Reds were used to paint the people and they have the most detail, which makes them stand out from the browns, greens and blues.

Davis’ girlfriend, Candace Taylor, also an artist, helped him by painting the large areas of one color that were time consuming to paint.

As they worked, “every seven to 10 minutes someone would come up and say, ‘This is great.’ Then they would share a past experience of theirs from a memory that was was triggered by the mural.”

The project began in early January with planning the design. Davis applied the first brush strokes of paint to the wall May 28. It took two months to complete.

Davis didn’t stick around long to admire his work. This fall he is attending graduate school at Ohio State University.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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