The Bowman Regional Public Library is doing the exact opposite of pushing daisies. Instead, the library is alive and blooming with a new sunflower mural on its south-facing wall.
By Frank Turner
Bowman County Pioneer
According to local volunteer Marie Snavely, the mural was both conceived and executed by a small group of “rouge” volunteers.
Snavely said that the project was so successful because every volunteer involved in the project had some form of art education or experience.
“We collaborated so much,” she said. “We would have meetings, talk about it, and try to come to consensus, because it wasn’t my project, it was our project.”
The group of volunteers involved spent over a hundred hours of their time making the project a reality.
Snavely said that the mural had existed as an idea for a very long time. Only recently was the project put into action.
“In 2012 we started talking about what we could do with the back of the library because it was so ugly,” said Snavely. “We are just a group of friends that got together to do the project.”
Eventually, the group of volunteers successfully applied for a Thrivent Financial grant and received money to buy paint for the mural. Snavely said the $250 grant allowed the group to move forward with the project.
“Once we got the money for the paint, we were stuck,” said Sanvely. “We had to do the project.”
Snavely said that the goal of the mural was to create something exciting for Bowman that would also fit the library’s outlook and presence.
Eventually the group settled on simplistic and abstract sunflowers to match the library’s motto.
“The reason we chose sunflowers is because the motto of the library is, ‘bloom where you are planted,’” said Snavely. “We had this idea that, okay we aren’t Bismarck or Minneapolis, but yet we want public art just like the big towns and cities.”
In total the mural covers the entire south wall of the library. The new art piece was a massive project with over 43 flowers and 222 leaves, according to Snavely.
Snavely hoped that, now the mural is finished, the new spot will attract new individuals to Bowman, and that people will be able to show off what makes Bowman a great place to live.
“Before the mural, we didn’t really feel like Bowman had an Instagram spot, so we are going to have a hashtag so people can take a picture and show that they came here. Then people can post the picture to their social media,” she said. “That’s the whole idea behind it.”
Moving forward, Snavely said that she hopes to sustain the momentum of the project and start a Friends of the Library club. Although the group doesn’t plan to make another mural anytime soon, she said that she hopes to continue using art to benefit the library.
“We are looking to start a real club,” said Snavely. “It’s just great to add something so lovely to Bowman.”