Local artist adds special touch to Searsboro Community Center

Local artist Kaylee Maasdam transforms the main wall of the Searsboro Community Center into a beautiful piece of art.

For 25 years, the Searsboro Community Center has stood as a gathering place for community events, bridal and baby showers, and funeral luncheons. Community leaders acknowledged the space was in need of some updating, as it had remained mostly untouched since it was built in 1999. City clerk Bev Arthur approached the council about commissioning local artist Kaylee Maasdam to paint a mural on the main wall in the community center. Arthur worked with Maasdam prior when Maasdam was hired to paint a mural outside 1st State Bank in New Sharon.

Maasdam spent six days in early March recreating the mural from an oil painting by Pella artist J.D. Speltz, entitled “Searsboro…So Close to the Country,” which was painted in August 2001 for Searsboro’s quasquicentennial celebration.

The inspiration for the mural, a 2001 oil painting by Pella artist J.D. Speltz entitled “Searsboro...So Close to the Country.”

Both the painting and Maasdam’s mural show Searsboro from the bottom of the hill looking up to the schoolhouse. The town’s story is displayed, with buildings shown at various points throughout the town’s history, and a steam locomotive chugging down the train tracks.

While Maasdam was true to the original painting’s depiction of Searsboro, her mural offers a brighter skyline, the addition of the Searsboro Community Church, and some colorful birds and wildlife throughout.

Searsboro’s colorful history is now on full display, thanks to Maasdam’s artistic talents and mind for community.



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