GREENVILLE — Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale “The Storks” paints a picture of a small town from the angle of the sky, where a mother and father stork have made their nest atop the roof of a Danish home, as the mother tends to her baby chicks and the father ventures off to find food for the feathered family.
That’s why the reaction from the small crowd in Greenville was unanimously pleasant Friday morning as artist Luverne Adamson unveiled her work of art that is this year’s Danish Festival mural.
Spectators gasped in amazement and applauded as the colorful work of art, centered on the story chosen as the theme for the 49th annual festival, was introduced on the side of the Preferred Credit Union building at the corner of N. Lafayette and E. Charles streets.
Adamson’s artwork focuses on Anderson’s stork family from the Danish tale, as the father stork brings home a fresh fish to feed his family. The nest is featured above a colorful Danish village, painted to match the architecture of the mid-19th century, complete with red-tile rooftops. Two additional storks in the background fly above pink and yellow clouds carrying babies to new families, as so the story goes.
“I decided to emphasize the family life,” said Adamson, who lives in Vestaburg. “When you read about storks, they are together for life, they raise their babies together.”
Adamson’s piece is the 10th Danish Festival mural to be featured in Greenville, part of a tradition that began 10 years ago. Painted on signboard with latex exterior house paint to endure the elements, Adamson said it took two months to complete the 8-by-10-foot mural.
“It was really fun to do and I thoroughly enjoy it,” she said. “I’m so glad it will be here for kids and people to see.”
Danish Festival Director Pamela Jorae said she was very impressed with Adamson’s work, especially because Adamson also created the artwork featured on the cover of the official 49th annual Danish Festival booklet.
“We are grateful this year that Laverne did the cover of the book and the mural as well,” Jorae said. “The murals are a favorite part of our tradition now. This is our 10th mural and I love them. They all look pretty precise still and I’m elated to have all of these talented people assist us.”
Adamson was also selected as the Danish Festival mural artist last year, when she painted the mural for “The Snow Queen” themed festival.
“The Storks” mural is the third featured at Preferred Credit Union, and CEO John Yeomans said he is delighted to continue to contribute in the traditions of the Danish Festival.
“We are proud to be a part of this,” he said. “The Danish Festival is a big deal and it brings the community together. We’re proud to do whatever we can to help this community.”
Now that her work is complete and available for all to see, Adamson says she has but one wish for people as they observe the mural.
“I hope people walk past, look at the painting, and just go, ‘Wow, that makes me happy,’” she said.