Bookstore makes the most of bad situation


Analicia Haynes

Kim Hanley from Mattoon, poses in front of a mural she made for the Bob’s Bookstore Sunday afternoon. The mural is painted on a piece of wood covering a broken window after someone threw a rock through it last week.

Analicia Haynes, Online Editor

A canvas can be more than a piece of paper found in an art class.

Instead, it can be found anywhere and can be anything. Just ask Joe Judd, the owner of Bob’s Bookstore.

A 6×7 black and white painting with the word “books” painted in yellow and several famous quotes from different novels plastered all over it fills the void where a window once stood in the store.

Someone threw a rock and shattered the window last week, Judd said, but he did not want to let the bare board that covered the broken window just sit there.

Instead, he asked for an artist to create something that was less of an eye sore.

“It’s a natural thing for humans to want to create something,” Judd said. “You don’t want to sit there and wallow in the bad things that happen to you. Something good can come out of it.”

Judd said he intended to paint something on the board, but did not want to just take a can of spray paint and write “Bob’s Bookstore” on it.
He ended up making a Facebook post asking if an artist from the area would be interested in the job.

Judd said Mattoon resident Kim Hanley answered the request within 12 hours.

“I’ve done (art) all my life,” Hanley said. “It’s what I love to do.”

Have free reign and no rules other than avoiding offensive language, Hanley said her idea for the design originated from the fact that the canvas was a bookstore.

She said she wanted to incorporate words within the design and give the mural a literary focus.

After drawing a sketch of the design and getting Judd’s approval, Hanley said she and others took to Facebook once again, asking community members for their input on what quotes from different books and novels should be used for the mural.

Aside from incorporating words, the design used basic colors.

Hanley said the white boxes containing the quotes were created to mimic pages in a book and work as a way to pull someone’s eye across, as if they were reading.

She finished the painting after three days.

The only challenging part, Hanley said, was the wind over the weekend that blew the stencils she used all over the place and moving from a basic canvas to wood.

She said it was the first time she had done so.

“I’m really glad that she did that,” Judd said. “I’m not that creative…I would have just painted a bird or something.”

Judd said he is happy with the outcome, adding that there are all kinds of empty spaces in town and chances for artists to show their work.

He said having art around makes the town more vibrant and the emptiness look alive.

“Art should be all around and there’s a lot of creative people in this town,” Judd said. “(It’s) really surprising to me, there are good musicians, artists, writers, (and) if we focus on that, then any negativity found about the town will go to the wayside.”

However, he said this does not mean people should go and throw rocks through windows anytime soon.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]