ALTON - As September comes to a close, the “Alton Flyway Mural” at 136 Front Street is taking shape.

Robert Fishbone with On the Wall Productions started work on the mural two weeks ago. He originally predicted it would take about a month to complete. The two prime coats have been applied and the design is laid out on the wall. Over the past few days, Fishbone has been applying the first coat of paint.

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“One of the things that distinguishes the work that my company does is everything we do is site-specific. That means it’s geared toward the community and the history of the people,” Fishbone explained at a “What’s Up Downtown” information exchange in August.

The “Alton Flyway Mural” is a recreation of a painting by Elsah artist James K. Schmidt. Fishbone has adjusted Schmidt’s painting so that it fits on the eastern wall of 136 Front St. and nothing is obscured by the building’s windows or piping. Above all else, Fishbone said his goal for the design was to “keep it authentic” to Schmidt’s painting.

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“Part of the challenge is, how do I take all these factors ... and come up with what I believe will be the best interpretation of James’s design?” he added.

Fishbone’s company On the Wall Productions has painted nearly 200 murals in 50 years. As the Alton mural develops, Fishbone will add a second coat of paint to give the mural a watercolor look, which matches Schmidt’s painting.

“When I do a job, I don’t leave until everyone is happy, including me,” he said. “So it will be the best it can possibly be and be faithful to the original intention.”

To learn more about the “Alton Flyway Mural,” check out this article at

A rendering of the completed mural design.

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