Bill and Gayle Cook, co-founders of Cook Medical, a global medical device manufacturing company, and CFC Properties, a real estate development and property management company, commissioned four large murals. The canvases span 16 feet wide by 12 feet tall and depicted downtown scenes during the early 1900s. Scott and Tracey Snowman, Owners of Snowman Studios Inc., an art gallery offering commissioned artist services and consulting, designed the murals from old postcards.
Each chosen scene included properties owned by the Cook family. Interestingly enough, the Snowman’s had their three children pose as the people in the postcards giving them different facial features and items. As an added surprise, Bill Cook was incorporated into a painting, standing as a popcorn attendant behind a red cart with Gayle’s name referenced with a heart. In front of him, Scott and Tracey are sitting in a horse and buggy. Also worked into the paintings are small, subtle references of the Cook name. Tracey alluded that they were inspired to add the extra surprises based on the ceiling paintings in the French Lick Resort that included Bill and Gayle as subjects.
The murals were completed in roughly ten weeks. When Bill visited to review the work, he climbed a ladder and peered over at them. Tracey shared…
“… we saw him so excited! Like a little kid!”
While the murals were dedicated on September 24, 2010, they were hung one month earlier in August. Tracey revealed…
“It was one big traffic jam. We sat on the square in our car for more than two hours and just observed. People were swerving their cars – not only stopping: getting out and screaming, and talking! Just fascinated.”
The murals decorate the southeast side of the Fulton Square shopping center and serve as a beautiful downtown attraction point.
In October 2015, the memorial stone for Isaac Sawn, founder of Canton, was moved to the grassy triangular area on the center’s south side, just west of the murals.