Walter T. Bailey mural will be painted over a five-day span, from July 11th to July 15th.
Prairie Chicken Art Festival - July 13th - 14th.
Dedication Ceremony for Walter T. Bailey mural - 2pm on July 15th
Free admission; registration fees for events vary
Come one and all to this Family Friendly Festival showcasing Public Art in Kewanee!
Enjoy the Prairie Chicken Chalk Art Festival and competition, the 21st Annual Kewanee Car Show, the Prairie Chicken Art Show, the Downtown Kids Window Art Show, and more. Come for the Giant Sand Pile, the Mural Art tours, Andrew's Family Magic Show, the Furry Friends Petting Zoo, and all the vendors.
The Prairie Chicken Art Festival coincides with the 5th Anniversary of the 2013 Walldogs Meet, and the painting of a 17th mural, this one commemorating Walter T. Bailey, the first Black architect in Illinois.
The new mural will be located on the south wall of B&B Printing, at 214 S. Main Street, close to the existing murals. It was designed by Scott “Cornbread” Lindley, of Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, who was also meet leader for the 2013 event.
Walter T. Bailey was born in Kewanee in 1882, and graduated from Kewanee High School in 1900. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1904 and earned his Master’s degree from the School of Architecture there in 1910, making him the first Black architect in Illinois. He was recruited to Tuskegee Institute by Booker T. Washington, where he designed several large campus buildings and was eventually the head of the Mechanical Industries Department. He moved on to open his own practice in Memphis, Tennessee, designing several buildings there, and in Arkansas, including the Mosaic State Temple in Little Rock, which was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. He then moved on to Chicago, Illinois, and became a staple of the Bronzeville section of the city.
He died in 1941, aged 59, leaving a wife and two daughters. In the present day, Bailey has no descendants, except for a surviving niece in Los Angeles, and a great-great niece and her son, also of California. His work was recently brought to town attention by local journalist Dave Clarke, of the Star Courier, and Clarke and Joy Hernandez began researching and organizing the mural. The Kewanee Historical Society and a group of genealogists began to fill in Bailey’s story and reconnected his legacy to present-day family.
Tara Bailey, his great-great niece, will be present for the mural dedication ceremony, as well representatives of the University of Illinois and various institutions and aspects of Bailey legacy, along with local city officials and leadership.
For more info on the 2013 Walldogs Meet, see: http://www.downtownkewanee.com/index.cfm?page=3896