The second in a series of murals featuring notable Springfield figures has risen on the outside of Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company. Celebrated photographer Berenice Abbott has joined jazz musician Johnny Lytle on the building’s Columbia St. side.
The mural was created by Springfield artists Pete Hrinko and Shem Schutte. Hrinko got the idea for a project years ago depicting Springfield heroes and when Mother Stewart’s gave the permission to use the space they set to work.
The Lytle portrait went up in summer 2019. Hrinko hopes the series will help the community learn more about and appreciate those depicted.
“I’ve always admired Berenice as a photographer. She was headstrong and not many people knew who she was and more than just some of the people who may be already known.”
Abbott was born here in 1898. After briefly attending Ohio State, she moved to Europe to continue her art studies and discovered her talent for photography.
After building her reputation in Paris, a trip to New York City began a new project of photographing the city as it rapidly built and made Abbott’s name, leading to several exhibitions and her work in various publications.
She lived to age 93 and was inducted posthumously into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum in 2000.
Hrinko and Schutte chose what could be considered a 1928 selfie of Abbott taken in Paris for their mural. It was done from the image onto a 13 by 8-foot canvas and installed to work with the brick outside the brewery.
The project cost about $900, Hrinko said, and was funded by Mother Stewart’s, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the MacRay Co.
The next two portraits in the series will be the late boxer Davey Moore and former DJ and Springfield advocate Dick Hatfield. Hrinko hopes to have those up sometime in the fall of 2020.
From there, Hrinko welcomes suggestions from the public as to who would be worthy additions.
“I see this as a community effort,” he said.
Another side of the brewery may be used for other art projects in the future.
“There are a lot of talented artists here. We just need to find the appropriate medium. I think this is a positive thing for the community,” he said.
Hrinko can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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