Show the Wings

Caitlyn Dickey


Back in the spring of 2018, three women from Saline County had some big ideas for Harrisburg, Illinois. They wanted to paint some butterfly wings on brick walls in town. They thought it would be a good idea and attract some people coming through the town going to the Shawnee National Forest. They got the idea from seeing some murals down in Nashville and Louisville.

Hayley Kotner included a Monarch Butterfly into the mural which is the Illinois state insect. The citizens in Harrisburg hoped the mural would bring more people downtown and beautify the city. Mayor John McPeek was all in for the mural on the side of the restaurant. He even thanked the restaurant for letting the women paint on the side of their building.

Just a couple months ago, some college students went to the mural and painted over the butterfly wings. They did this because Mark Motsinger of the Saline County Historical Society requested it to be done. Motsinger said, he was “working with the bar owner to put a mural celebrating Saline County’s history ahead of the bicentennial.” Kyle Wahl, who the owner of the Towne Square Pub the location of the highly contested wall, commented that neither project was approved with him. Wahl wanted something on the wall, but it needs some work done to it before anything goes back up there. McPeek hopes to move forward with other projects the help make the city 
look beautiful.