Ogle County attractions featured on Oregon’s newest mural

Chloe Metz touches up a border on the Chana School Museum postage stamp image as she works on the new mural located on the exterior wall of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce building at 122 N. 4th Street in Oregon.

OREGON – Chloe Metz was busy Monday putting the finishing touches on Oregon’s newest piece of public art — a 61-foot-long mural on the side of a downtown building.

Commissioned by the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce, the mural is located on the north exterior wall of the Chamber’s office building, 122 N. 4th St. It features a postcard with a “Greetings from Oregon” title and then images presented as postage stamps to showcase area attractions such as the Black Hawk Statue, Rock River and the Illinois Freedom Bell, located in Mt. Morris.

The idea for the mural, which faces Oregon’s new CMAAA (Coliseum Museum of Arts, Antiques & Americana), came from the Chamber’s Emerging Leaders group.

“Our goal is to have it completely done for Autumn on Parade,” said Metz. “The mural is 61-feet long and goes from 10-feet high tapering down to 7 and 1/2-feet.”

Metz’s artwork includes drawings of the Chana School Museum, a tree, hiking boots, a bison and artist’s paint palette to demonstrate the area’s connection with art, education and nature.

Metz, an Oregon native, became interested in oil painting when she was a student at Oregon High School.

“My passion for oil painting began in high school. Four of my seven class periods were art my senior year. I had my own studio, my own coffee pot, and endless materials to make whatever my heart desired. After an art history tour around Europe, I knew art was going to have a permanent place in my heart,” she said in her bio on her website, paintedbychloe.com.

She studied Art and Business at Augustana College for four years and then decided to get a master’s degree in Museum Studies.

“I worked as a curation assistant for the Figge Art Museum and the Rockford Art Museum while going to school. After graduating in 2019, I landed a full-time curation job with RH in Minneapolis. I loved Minnesota, but no job is more important than family, so back to Oregon, Illinois we came,” she said.

She acknowledges the support of her family and husband, Adam, for their support as she pursues her career.

“If it weren’t for the support of my family and my incredible husband Adam, I would not be pursuing my dream of being a full-time artist. It’s amazing how God works in our lives,” she said.

The new mural is located on the exterior wall of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce building at 122 N. 4th Street in Oregon.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 8 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.