Artist Pamela Kellough is putting the finishing touches on her second mural in downtown Hillsboro at the corner of North West and West Main streets that illustrates the history of the locally-founded C.S. Bell Company.
During its heyday, from 1875 to 1925, the C. S. Bell Company cast and shipped tens of thousands of cast iron church bells as well as school and farm bells all over the world. Food and feed grinders made by C. S. Bell helped families in North and South America transition from stone mills and grinders to more advanced products.
“They were phenomenal, and they were all over the world with the things they shipped,” said Kellough.
The mural is funded through a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.
“They have funded a lot of my work, which is fantastic,” said Kellough. “This is part of the mural trail that they are developing all over Adams County, and so far I have seven or eight murals down there to develop tourism so that people will drive from place to place, which they do, and it’s mind-blowing.”
Kellough has earned acclaim for her outdoor murals in Southern Ohio that showcase local history and community pride. She began painting indoor murals more than 20 years ago when she was asked to paint baby angels on a client’s wall.
“I told her, ‘I can’t do that,’ and she said, ‘get in here and paint on my wall,’ and it turned out really well,” said Kellough. “So, from there it just kind of spiraled, but my big break came when I started doing murals for the Parade of Homes in Columbus for the builders there, and when I started doing that then people all over saw my work.”
Kellough has also completed interior murals for the VA Hospital, Kenworth, and a number of schools and churches.
Her foray into exterior murals began about five years ago when she was commissioned to create a historical mural in Bainbridge.
“The difference between this and an interior mural is like the difference between a kitten and a lion,” she said. “You’re products are all different, and the way you treat everything is different, and so it requires a lot of years of just knowing – that’s what grey hair is for. I’ve run into issues, and I’ve found how to solve them, and I adapt that to my next mural.”
Kellough has been working on the current project in Hillsboro for the past two weeks. “I’ve been battling the weather which is the nature of the beast, but I hope to be done in about a week,” she said.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.