Mount Vernon community mural has special meaning for artist behind it

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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- It took a whole community to help bring a mural to life in Mount Vernon.

The mural means a lot to the hundreds of kids that helped paint it, but it means even more to the artist who came up with the idea.

Strider Patton now paints murals in San Francisco, but he grew up in Mount Vernon right next door to where the mural now sits.

"I grew up here with this house behind me and this wall was always just a big concrete grey slab and so I used to draw on it with chalk when I was eight years old," Patton said.

He wanted to involve everyone so he visited the local schools and asked kids to submit their ideas. For the past ten days he's had students helping him out, and anyone else in the community who wanted to lend a helping hand.

"It's something new in Mount Vernon I thought I would get involved," Steve Kriv said.

Patton says nearly 400 kids came out to help and it's memories he hopes the kids take with them wherever they end up.

"It's really about teamwork and cooperation and to see them so excited about all them working together to create something so big I really hope it's able to plant some seeds in them to feel like they're valued even at a small age," Patton said.

They are going to have an unveiling event and ribbon cutting this Saturday at 10:30.