NORTH RIVERSIDE – A new flag now flies on the north wall of the Berwyn-North Riverside VFW Post 2378, 2622 S. Desplaines Ave.
Members of the VFW post gathered May 29 to commemorate the completion of a mural depicting an American flag and to thank New York-based artist Scott LoBaido for painting the “HOW BIG” flag mural on their wall.
No sooner did the ceremony end when LoBaido hopped in his truck and was off to his next location – to paint his 25th mural at a VFW in Indiana.
Post Commander Robert “Bob” Tinson said the post was notified of its selection by officials from Home Depot for their inclusion in the mural project.
“The [artist] did a fantastic job,” Tinson said. “A lot of people have said they love it. We’re working on putting some lights on it so we can see it at night.”
The project that brought artist Scott LoBaido to North Riverside is part of a larger national project which began in February. LoBaido’s first stop was Feb. 21 at a VFW in Fayetteville, N.C. The artist plans to paint a flag mural on a veterans post in each of the 50 states before he’s done.
According to LoBaido’s’ website, all the posts were selected personally by LoBaido. The posts were selected based on the condition of the exterior wall where the mural would be painted and the proximity of the post to the artist’s tour route and time schedule.
There are no costs associated with the painting of the mural to the local post, according to the website.
A few days before LoBaido arrives, area Home Depot employees prep and prime the area that will serve as the mural’s canvas. The mural takes between one and three days to complete, depending on weather and size. Ladders and boom lifts are supplied by Home Depot where needed. Behr paints are used exclusively in the mural’s creation.
Berwyn-North Riverside Post Commander Tinson said he was particularly impressed with the selflessness of the artist himself.
“He didn’t want nothing from nobody,” Tinson said. “He sets up his little tent next to his truck and is off to the next state when he’s done.”
Post Quartermaster Juan Cornejo of Berwyn said he thought the mural makes the post look special. Cornejo said he felt lucky his post was selected.
“I found it amazing for us to be selected throughout the whole state,” Cornejo said.