Local Murals and Artwork
Nestled amidst the charming streets and picturesque landscapes, our town boasts a collection of captivating outdoor murals that tell stories, evoke emotions, and celebrate the rich heritage of our community. From bold strokes of color to intricate details, each mural is a testament to the creativity and talent that flourishes within our town. Join us on a visual journey as we explore the captivating outdoor art that graces the walls and alleys, turning Rome City into an open-air gallery.
Gene Stratton-Portor (GSP) Statue
The statute that sits atop the mausoleum of Gene Stratton-Porter and Jeanette Porter Meehan has a long history with our area. This statue initially sat on the tomb of Civil War Capt—Samuel P. Bradford Jr of the 44th Indiana Infantry. You’ll notice she is missing her right arm as she was damaged in a storm years ago. The Bradford family was able to get a replacement statue created (which sits atop Bradford’s tomb in Greenwood Cemetery in Lagrange), and the one that sits with Gene was placed into storage until Gene & Jeanette were brought here in 1999 by the Meehan Family.
GSP: Wisteria & Statue Paintings
Location: GSP Carriage House-Inside 2nd floor
There are two paintings inside the Carriage House Visitors Center. The larger of the two, a triptych, is of the wisteria arbor in full bloom. They showcase the beautiful trailing blossoms, winding vines, and hand-laid stones. This is a chance for visitors to experience the arbor in bloom even when snow is on the ground. The triptych was donated by Tony Mulholland in 2015.
The second painting is of the statue atop the mausoleum with the hemlocks behind it. The artist, Linville, painted these images during a summer plein air paint-out in 2002.
Shooky’s: Luna Moth
Location: Shooky’s; exterior North Wall
In September of 2022, local art teacher Tammy Bieberich unveiled this beautiful mural.
The mural features water and daylilies, hydrangeas, and other flowers. The showstopping part is the giant luna moth featured in the center that glows in the dark. Inspired by both Gene Stratton-Porter’s love of nature and Van Gough’s “Starry Night,” visitors will notice Bieberich’s paint strokes mimicking Van Gough’s work. The mural is meant to be interactive, allowing visitors to compare themselves to the moth.
*Special thanks to Advance Rome City for funding this project.
Miller’s: Sylvan Lake
Location: Miller’s-inside East Wall
Portraying Sylvan Lake with a view of Gem Island, artist Chris Lesley included a sight of the northeastern shore of Sylvan. Many visitors will also recognize the familiar structures of the Our Lady, Patroness of America, and Sylvan Cellars Event Center. Boats, canoes, and jet skis can be seen enjoying a beautiful sunny day on Sylvan. Chris’ artwork can be seen at two other locations in Rome City.
Rome City Town Hall: Gene Stratton-Porter
Location: North wall of Town Hall
The mural showcases Hoosier author Gene Stratton-Porter and her granddaughter, who she lovingly called Morning Face. Artist Darlene Bender spent time at the site getting an up-close look at the masonry, a collection of Gene’s works, and some historic photographs to inspire the mural. Each item in the mural has a special meaning and can be read on the accompanying sign, pointing out each item’s location and the importance of the image. The mural was unveiled in October 2016 as part of the state’s bicentennial celebrations. Darlene also has a mural in Albion, IN.
Pepperoni’s: King Kong!
Location: East wall, adjacent to parking lot
Pepperoni’s Pizza has been a Rome City staple for years. Providing delicious pizza and subs for the community, Deb decided to add a little artwork to the exterior of the building. She reached out to artist Chris Lesley to create something to catch people’s eye while traveling through Rome City.
“As a theme Park artist, I love themed restaurants and businesses. Everyone loves the Rainforest Café at Disney. I don’t see why the best places must be in Orlando. I wanted to create an experience with every mural I do, you are not just eating pizza within four walls, but you are on an adventure at Skull Island.”
“I saw this big wall outside Pepperoni’s and knew this needed something eye-catching and unconventional, something people will talk about and create interest.”
“The goal is to sell pizza’s who has a bigger appetite than King Kong? Nothing and No-one. King Kong could have been appeased with a stack of pizza’s being sacrificed. So, the idea is to substitute the blonde with a stack of pizza’s. Feed your inner Kong and appease your appetite. I would like to see Pepperoni’s get national attention; I think the possibility is there.”
Sylvan Cellars: The Barn
Location: South side of outbuilding adjacent to parking lot
Chris Lesley once again created a beautiful mural of a historic building in Rome City. The Schermerhorn’s work on making the Sylvan Cellars Event Center has added a wonderful event space for the surrounding community. Commemorating their work, Lesley included the barn and structures around it, capturing the area perfectly. An up-close look at the mural brings out the Bourbon Whiskey names on the barrels, apples on the trees, and some wildlife spending some time in the orchard.