MARSHFIELD, Mo. – Edwin Hubble is known as one of the greatest American astronomers in history for creating the Hubble Telescope. What many may not know, is that he was born in 1889 in the rural town of Marshfield, Missouri.
Owner of CFC Fitness Jason Barnes told The Heartlander that while some might not know about Hubble’s birthplace, tourists who are familiar often stop in town for a photo-op with the giant Hubble Telescope replica in downtown Marshfield.
Barnes had been searching Highway I-44 for a digital sign to help advertise his volunteer-based gym. Ellis Young of Young Shopping Center caught wind of Barnes’ search and offered a giant silo on his property.
“He said, ‘I always wanted something to do with the Hubble telescope, to help get people to Marshfield’,” Barnes said of Ellis.
The duo soon began their joint venture. Barnes and Ellis determined that they should have someone paint the Hubble telescope onto the silo. For sponsorship and advertisement, they also incorporated the CFC and Young Shopping Center logos on the silo.
“Our cause is to help promote Marshfield and our community,” Barnes said. “If somebody was interested, they might stop and see the replica. They might Google it. They can go to the square and look at it, maybe stop and get some gas or dinner and go look at our town.”
The next step in the process was to find the right artist for the job, which is when the two enlisted local artist Samantha Cox.
Cox has painted several large murals around the Marshfield community and has gained a name for herself in the area.
“She’s an amazing local artist. Whenever we told her about our idea, she was just thrilled about it,” said Barnes.
Cox has lived in Marshfield for 10 years and says that she has always been interested in art. When she was laid off from her job due to the Covid-19 outbreak, she began painting murals as a new career and while doing so, has become closer to her community. Cox painted a small mural on the wall inside of CFC’s gym, so Barnes was already familiarized with her work ethic.
Work on the mural officially began on August 23rd and was painted in layers because the background had to be done first. The off-white background helped Cox add details to the top of the painting, so that the telescope would stand out more. She also says that painting on the surface of a heavily aged silo is not the easiest task in the world.
“It took me about a week and three days to complete because of the weather. Of course, you can’t paint in the rain,” Cox said with a laugh.
Individuals driving eastbound on I-44 can spot the silo and mural around the 98.8 mile marker before reaching the first Marshfield exit.