Tribune-Courier features editor
Even if you don’t recognize the artist’s name, chances are good you’ve enjoyed her work. She’s known best for her festive holiday murals on store windows in Marshall County and beyond during the Christmas season.
Vicki Jo Reed’s cartoon-like holidayscapes have adorned the windows of businesses like King Brother’s Grocery and Shop-O-Rama for years and for many it just wouldn’t be the Christmas season without them.
Like most artists, Reed started with smaller projects and most of her work consisted of painting signs for businesses. She soon moved on to take on bigger projects such as the holiday windows and wall murals in the homes of private customers, as well as baptisteries in churches. Most people know Reed through the Christmas windows, however, and that’s how Mayfield businessman Sonny Gibson found her.
Gibson was interested in putting a very large mural of an American flag on one of his buildings in Mayfield and thought Reed would be the perfect artist to transform his inspirational message into a work of art.
When the project began, Reed found out quickly that her workspace at home was not quite big enough. The finished mural is 10’ 4” x 32’ and was painted on four 5’ 2” x 16’ pieces of Alucobond. Even though it was split into the four different pieces, it was still five inches too wide for Reed’s workspace. She ended up storing the piece and painting it at Village Boat and RV Storage in Draffenville.
“They had the biggest unit available and it was closest to my home,” Reed said, “I just couldn’t spray paint and I had to leave it clean.”
All Reed’s previous work is freehanded and this recent mural is no different. “I took a picture of the flag at CFSB and blew up the section I wanted to use,” Reed explained. She then painted the nearly thirty foot flag by using the 4”x6” print as a guide.
Reed completed the mural in five weeks from start to finish. It was everything Gibson asked for with the exception of the bible verse located on the bottom right corner.
“It needed something else,” Reed said. “I was searching the Bible but I was having trouble finding exactly what I wanted to include on the painting. My brother and pastor, Duane Holland (of Holly Hills Baptist Church in Calvert City), knew instantly which verse to use. They recommended a verse from Psalms, ‘Blessed is the nation where God is the Lord.’” Psalms 33:12. Sonny loved it.”
Once the mural was transported to Mayfield, it took six people to mount it onto the building. After the four pieces were up Reed was able to include her finishing touches. The mural is located on the corner of N. 8th and W. Broadway in Mayfield.
“This is my single biggest project,” Reed said. “The reaction from motorists passing by has been amazing and positive.”