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New mural brings a note of happiness to downtown Marion

  • The newest artwork for Marion's new historical district should be completed today.

    The newest artwork for Marion's new historical district should be completed today.
    Courtesy of Josh Benson

Posted on 10/30/2020, 2:23 AM

MARION -- Byassee Music and Sound owner Matt Throgmorton could not be more thrilled with the new artwork on the side of his building.

"When I took the reins I envisioned a mural," he said. "I actually spoke to Mayor Absher about it."

In fact, the new art is somewhat of an anniversary celebration for Throgmorton, who became the owner of the business formerly belonging to Jim and Linda Byassee four years ago in November.

Throgmorton said he immediately jumped at the opportunity to be the second building to host a mural when Josh Benson approached him with the idea.

Benson is the executive director of the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. With the stage "dark" because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Benson decided to use his skills to bring another type of art to Marion, working on the series of murals that will be the focus of Marion's new historic district.

The new mural depicts jazz greats Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.

Armstrong actually performed in Marion, appearing in the ballroom of the Travel Lodge in 1962, according to Benson.

Luke O'Neill of Union Street Arts has been helping Benson with the project.

Throgmorton said the community response has been uplifting.

"It's been run seeing the community response," he said. "People drive by and honk or wave a thumbs-up. It's been great for the community to have some positivity."

Benson is putting finishing touches on the mural which he hopes will be completed today.