A new piece of art, the Missouri History Mural, now covers a vestibule wall in the children's area of the Columbia Public Library . Children from the 2007 fourth grade classes of Grant Elementary School , along with guest artist Heinrich Leonhard, unveiled the tile mural on November 13. It was an exciting moment given that the artists themselves had not yet seen their completed work.
The students drew, sculpted and painted low-relief tiles while learning about Missouri history. Their creative, colorful depictions of the MU columns, the capitol building, steamboats, Ginger Rogers, Beetle Bailey and other people and places surround a central panel with a rural scene by Leonhard featuring well-known local musicians Pete McMahan and Jim Ruth. Leonhard made a few tiles himself and library staff member Stephanie Hanson contributed a tile of Harry Truman while pitching in to help the students. Leonhard's terra cotta-colored framing pieces depict natural elements like corn stalks and dogwood flowers and historical scenes like a pioneer wagon train.
The student artists, now in fifth grade, gathered eagerly for the unveiling of the artwork along with teachers, parents and library staff, board and Foundation members. Library director Melissa Carr and Grant principal Beverly Borduin pulled away the brown paper and the crowd cheered their approval, pointing eagerly to show off which tiles were theirs. Afterwards, the kids happily posed for group photographs with their work along with Leonhard and their teachers.
This mural is made possible through the generosity of the Daniel Boone Regional Library Foundation’s  Wulfekammer Endowment and the Grant Elementary School PTA and parents.