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Here’s the story behind the latest mural in downtown Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo- If you’re making your way downtown, walking fast as faces pass, you will notice a new mural on the side of the Ward Downtown YMCA.

This street art is the latest mural done by Andrea Ehrhardt, the artist behind Art by Andrea. The new mural is visible as you head south on Jefferson Avenue just past Walnut Street.

Andrea says the idea behind the mural has a double meaning.

“They had an idea to create something colorful and fun on the outside of their building, and it just so happened to be we painted during this whole thing going on,” says Andrea. “With this mural, we really wanted to do something that was community-based.”

The mural shows five people, ranging from old to young, building a colorful tower made of Legos. At the top stands a young girl holding the unofficial official flag of Springfield.

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“It’s almost like you’re building your future and everybody’s working together. We had no idea that we were going to paint it during what is going on right now, and I thought it was perfect,” said Ehrhardt.

Ehrhardt and her team of artists, including her husband, spent five days on the mural in mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic started shutting down the community. During that time, those driving by would show the artists their support by honking and saying thanks.

Andrea is no stranger to covering buildings in downtown and around Springfield.

You can find some of her most famous works at:

  • The Discovery Center, the Greeting from Springfield Mural
  • Riad, the famous Butterfly Wings
  • Systematic Savings Bank, a mural looking into a vault
  • Seminole Decor Center, a mural with paint falling like rain and two umbrellas to stand under

But her art reaches beyond the Ozarks; she has traveled the world with one of her projects based on the butterfly wings downtown.

“I started this worldwide wings project. I created butterfly wings in New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, everywhere but Antarctica,” says Andrea.

In her free time, Andrea also teaches an online art class with students from all around the world.

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