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Ferdinand the Bull, 2016 – 2017, public art mural. Located at 1440 Main Street, Ferdinand, Indiana. Oil and enamel on concrete wall, 24 x 65 feet.

Lisa Marie Thalhammer painted a 24 x 65 foot mural depicting Ferdinand the Bull, located at the 1440 Main Street Ferdinand Antique Emporium. This new public artwork is inspired by “The Story of Ferdinand,” a children’s book by American author Munro Leaf, which tells the story of a bull who would rather smell the flowers than participate in bullfights. After the release of this best selling story in 1936, the Town of Ferdinand began using the bull as an icon on the Town’s utility and fire trucks.

In collaboration with Dubois County Forest Park School educator Rock Emmert and Ferdinand Antique Emporium business owner, Keith Fritz, visual artist Lisa Marie Thalhammer painted this new public art work on the side of the 1440 Main Street warehouse building, which is visible from both the Forest Park High School and Main Street. The artist represents Ferdinand among peonies (the Indiana state flower), oak tree acorns and a brilliant Indianan sunset. The mural also incorporates a quote from the original Ferdinand the Bull story and the Ferdinand town motto.

This public art mural will serve a large population of both locals and tourists who drive along Main Street and stop at the Ferdinand Antique Emporium. Additionally, the mural location can also be seen from Forest Park Jr./Sr. High School, with buses of students passing the mural daily. The artist gave 8 different artist talks to students from Forest Park during the mural installation process. Along with the community they gained a greater knowledge of the art making process and the meaning behind and history of the Ferdinand the Bull story. A variety of community members supported and also participated in the creation of this public artwork. Volunteers Jenny Fritz, Shawnee Patton, Rock Emmert, Benjamin Thorne and Stephanie Gresamen and Karen Gist helped to paint and install the mural while other contributions from the Town of Ferdinand, Dubois County County Community Foundation, Muller True Value, Ferdinand Farmer’s Insurance Group, the Fritz family and Ken Sicard, Ferdinand Town Council President made this project possible.

Painter and muralist, Lisa Marie Thalhammer has family roots in Dubois County. Her ancestors’ family farm is located in Siberia, Indiana and her great aunts were Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana. She was born in St. Louis MO and currently lives and works as a professional artist in Washington, DC. She has produced multiple outdoor murals, exhibits her artworks nationally and internationally and has been featured in many publications including the cover of the Washington Post Magazine. Her work and portfolio can be viewed on her website:
Additionally, a major motion picture titled simply Ferdinand (complete with chiming monastery bells in the first part of the trailer) is being released on December 15. Visit this link to watch the trailer:
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